TAMPA, Fla. — Josh Bailey (upper body) did not make the trip with the Islanders and that likely means Ryan Strome is in the lineup for the near future.
Bailey left Game 6 on Sunday late in the first period and did not return. He may not skate while the Islanders are in Tampa for the first two games of the series, which could mean an extended absence.
James Wright, who was called up from Bridgeport on Tuesday to add an extra body among the forwards, did make the trip and will be part of the taxi squad for now.
Bailey had one assist in the opening round and struggled quite a bit in the first two games, with his line out often against the Panthers’ high-scoring line of Reilly Smith, Nick Bjugstad and Jussi Jokinen.
Jaroslav Halak (groin) was a full participant in yesterday’s morning skate, taking shots and staying on for extra work. He did not dress as Thomas Greiss’ backup Wednesday night, with J-F Berube remaining in that role.
Pulock getting closer
Ryan Pulock (upper body) had a full skate Wednesday morning and said he feels he’s close to being healthy enough to play after missing Games 5 and 6 against the Panthers.
“I’m improving, I think at this point I’m right on line,” he said.
Pulock could be ready to return before the series gets too deep. He had a goal and two assists in Games 3 and 4 before exiting that Game 4 after a hard hit from Florida’s Garrett Wilson.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the game,” Pulock said. “You can’t get down about it.”
Stamkos, Stralman still out
Steven Stamkos was on the ice at Amalie Arena Wednesday morning but in a red non-contact jersey. He’s still a ways off from returning.
The same may be true for D Anton Stralman, who hasn’t skated with his Lightning teammates yet as he works to get back from a broken leg suffered against the Islanders on March 25.
Tampa was also without J.T. Brown on Wednesday night and went with Jonathan Marchessault over Mike Blunden up front.