Islanders head coach Barry Trotz directs his players during training...

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz directs his players during training camp at Northwell Health Ice Center on Sept. 23. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Ryan Pulock is trying to play himself back to his accustomed performance level.

The stalwart defenseman logged 16:55 with one shot and one blocked shot as the Islanders lost to the expansion Kraken on Wednesday night at UBS Arena in his second game after missing 25 with a foot issue.

"It’s just been a matter of trying to get in shape and it’s been tough with all the games we’ve played and not really having much practice time," said Pulock in his first media session since getting injured on Nov. 15. "It’s going to be a work in progress for me to continue to get to my best game. But I’ve got to find it here right now."

"I think playing these two games are huge for me."

Pulock was initially expected to miss four-to-six weeks but he said his longer absence was not a surprise, especially after winding up in COVID-19 protocol in mid-January.

"It’s great to be back," Pulock said. "I was pretty much on track. Getting COVID kind of set me back a week or so."

On the road again

Coach Barry Trotz is looking forward to the Islanders playing some road games for a change after 14 of 15 at UBS Arena. In all, they have played just four road games since the building opened on Nov. 20.

"We like playing at home, it’s a little easier on the body," Trotz said. "But I think the mind could use a break, traveling to different cities. The road wins sometimes, for the group, have a little more of a bonding effect."

Nine of their next 11 are on the road starting next Wednesday at Vancouver.

Isles files

Josh Bailey was a minus-3 without a shot in 16:14…Kieffer Bellows, Ross Johnston and defenseman Sebastian Aho remained the healthy scratches.

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