Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau sets before a face off against...

Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau sets before a face off against the Seattle Kraken in the first period of an NHL hockey game at UBS Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Islanders did not have third-line center Jean-Gabriel Pageau available for Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 1 of their first-round series at PNC Arena.

“We’ll see for the next game,” coach Patrick Roy said. “Still day-to-day.”

The versatile Pageau exited in the first period of the Islanders’ season-ending 5-4 win over the Penguins at UBS Arena on Wednesday with a lower-body issue. He did not practice on Friday and Roy had listed him as a game-time decision for the playoff opener.

Pageau did not participate in warmups.

“He’s a huge part of our team, not only in the faceoff circle but everywhere else,” top-line center Bo Horvat said. “Penalty kill, he’s on the power play. Guys are just going to have to step up and fill that void.”

Rookie Kyle MacLean, who scored the Islanders’ lone goal in the first period, was elevated from the fourth line to skate in Pageau’s spot between Anders Lee and Pierre Engvall.

“It’s been a while now,” Roy said of MacLean, who logged 12:10 with three blocked shots. “I feel he’s getting more and more confident out there and playing really good hockey. I thought he had another solid game.”

Simon Holmstrom, usually a wing, centered Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck on the fourth line.

Pageau had 11 goals and 22 assists in 82 games — including a goal against the Penguins before getting hurt — and led the Islanders by winning 55.4% of his faceoffs.

Memory lane

Islanders assistant coach John MacLean worked for the Hurricanes on Kirk Muller’s staff from 2011-14, meaning Kyle MacLean spent plenty of time at PNC Arena while growing up.

So just as it was meaningful for him to score a goal at New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Monday — his father played the bulk of his career with the Devils — Kyle MacLean said scoring a goal against the Hurricanes in his playoff debut also was special.

“My dad coached here. I watched a lot of games here as well,” Kyle MacLean said. “So two buildings. It’s kind of funny how it works out.”

Soft play?

Lee said he was surprised to be called for offensive-zone holding at 1:22 of the first period as he tried to muscle past defenseman Brady Skjei with the puck to get to the Hurricanes’ crease.

Skjei was not called for embellishment, but the replay seemed to show him diving.

The Hurricanes’ Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on the ensuing power play at 1:35.

“I felt like I didn’t even feel him, to be honest,” Lee said. “The next thing I know, I’m just trying to get body position and I’m going to the box. I talked to the ref about it, we had a conversation, and it was settled.”

Isles files

Lee took a game-high seven shots . . . Jakub Skarek, 24, was brought up from the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport to serve as the team’s third goalie behind Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin. He will dress only in case of injury . . . Martin played in his 80th playoff game for the Islanders. He became the 17th player in team history to do so but first since Brent Sutter in 1986 . . . Defensemen Sebastian Aho and Samuel Bolduc and forwards Oliver Wahlstrom and Ruslan Iskhakov were healthy scratches.

‘Canes comments

Center Jordan Staal was credited with seven hits and won 11 of 16 faceoffs . . . Skjei had two assists . . . Right wing Andrei Svechnikov took a team-high six shots . . . Right wing Jesper Fast (upper body) was not available . . . Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was asked if the Islanders looked significantly different since Roy took over for Lambert. “Yeah, in my opinion,” Brind’Amour said with a healthy chuckle. “I’ll just leave it at that.''  . . .  Brind’Amour and Roy both played for Team Canada during the 1998 Winter Olympics. “I remember scoring on him in practice,” Brind’Amour said. “And then I remember him saying I should be in the shootouts in the Olympics because I was scoring on him. He won’t remember that. But I do.”

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