TAMPA, Fla. — Rookie Oliver Wahlstrom is available to play "if necessary" but Islanders coach Barry Trotz sees no reason to alter his lineup for Tuesday night’s Game 2 of their NHL semifinal series against the Lightning.
Wahlstrom participated in the Islanders’ pregame warmups before their 2-1 win in Sunday afternoon’s Game 1 at Amalie Arena. It marked the first time he was available to play since suffering a lower-body injury in Game 5 of the Islanders’ first-round series against the Penguins.
Travis Zajac, acquired from the Devils on April 7, has taken Wahlstrom’s spot in the lineup and settled into an effective role on Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s right wing along with fellow former Devil Kyle Palmieri.
"With Zajac, he gives us a little more flexibility in the faceoff circle, a little more of a checking role," Trotz said as the Islanders conducted an optional practice on Monday. "That’s the biggest thing, probably, and the experience. It’s working right now so maybe don’t have to fix it right now."
"Right now" being the key phrase.
"As the series goes on, that may change," Trotz said. "We won Game 1. Things could change after tomorrow. But I think we found some stability and some clarity for every line so right now we don’t have to do anything."
Lee on ice
Injured captain Anders Lee (right ACL) was again on the ice during the Islanders’ optional practice, working on his own at one end while his teammates took shots on third-string goalie Cory Schneider in the opposite zone.
Lee, out since March 11, was first spotted publicly in Boston on June 7 at the optional morning skate before Game 5 of the second-round series.
Both Trotz and president and general manager Lou Lamoriello have said repeatedly Lee will not play in the playoffs.