SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jordan Eberle pronounced himself fit for play on Saturday night after taking a spin on the ice in the morning, saying the upper-body injury that he suffered in practice on Thursday felt good enough for him to play.
“I felt good in the skate. I’m ready to go,” the former Oiler said. “I like playing in this rink, there’s good energy here, and I’ve obviously been here a lot the last few years.”
Doug Weight had addressed reporters a bit earlier Saturday morning and wasn’t ready to commit to a forward lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Sharks. He needed to see how Eberle and Cal Clutterbuck, who had missed the previous three games with a deep hip bruise, responded to skating in the morning and treatment leading up to game time.
All 13 available Islanders forwards skated in warmups on Saturday night for the late start and Weight gave no indication who would sit out if Eberle and Clutterbuck were ready to return. As it turned out, Clutterbuck scored a goal and Eberle had an assist in the Islanders’ 3-1 victory.
Eberle sounded eager to get back on the ice. “The way I felt this morning was great. I’m excited to get going here,” said Eberle, who has seven goals and seven assists in 15 games in the Shark Tank. “Even if you miss an ice session or two, you get a little anxious, so it’s good to get back out there.”
Isles see Dell again
Sharks backup goaltender Aaron Dell got his first career win against the Islanders at Barclays Center last Oct. 18. His second career win? Why, that was against the Isles as well, here on Nov. 25. Both were by 3-2 scores and both were on Sharks goals scored in the closing three minutes of regulation.
So it made sense for Sharks coach Peter DeBoer to go back to Dell for his first start of the season on Saturday night. Dell, 28, was an undrafted free agent out of North Dakota and worked his way up through four minor-league seasons to earn the understudy role to Martin Jones last year.