There are no guarantees for the injured Kyle Palmieri.
The Islanders placed the right wing on injured reserve before Thursday night’s 4-1 win over the Sabres at UBS Arena and coach Barry Trotz offered no timetable for Palmieri’s return.
He said Palmieri won’t necessarily be reinserted into the lineup when healthy. Palmieri, who signed a four-year, $20 million extension, has one goal and six assists in 25 games.
He was injured on Dec. 16 in a 3-1 win over the visiting Bruins yet has missed only two games.
"He’s still rehabbing," Trotz said. "There’s guys right now that are playing well. We’ll get him 100% and then we’ll see if we put him back in."
The Islanders made a flurry of roster moves.
Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Zach Parise and defenseman Robin Salo were activated out of COVID-19 protocol. Forwards Cole Bardreau, Austin Czarnik and Michael Dal Colle were added to the Islanders’ NHL roster from the taxi squad and defenseman Grant Hutton was recalled from AHL Bridgeport. Czarnik and Dal Colle were in the lineup against the Sabres.
Also, defenseman Sebastian Aho was added to the Islanders’ COVID-19 protocol list, joining Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson and Oliver Wahlstrom.
Martin and Salo wound up being unavailable for only the Islanders’ last game, a 4-3 shootout loss to Vegas at UBS Arena on Dec. 19. Clutterbuck and Parise did not miss any games.
On Wednesday, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced modifications to the COVID-19 protocol guidelines, including reducing the isolation period after a positive test from 10 days to five days.
"Anything that will get our guys back quicker is definitely great," defenseman Adam Pelech said.
Josh Bailey had two assists, giving him 360 for his career and moving him past Clark Gillies (359) for fourth place on the Islanders’ all-time list. Bryan Trottier is the franchise leader with 853.
All grown up
Tage Thompson, the Sabres’ leading goal-scorer, is the son of Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson. Pelech, who played parts of three seasons for the Islanders’ top minor-league affiliate from 2014-17, remembers seeing him around.
"I definitely saw him around the rink," Pelech said. "It’s great to see him doing well and establishing himself and being successful at the NHL level."
Thompson, 24, taken 26th overall by the Blues in 2016, entered Thursday with 12 goals and eight assists in 31 games. He had two goals in the Sabres’ 4-3 home loss to the Devils on Wednesday.