Kyle MacLean of the Islanders skates against the Golden Knights at...

Kyle MacLean of the Islanders skates against the Golden Knights at UBS Arena on Jan. 23. Credit: Jim McIsaac

ST. LOUIS — Kyle MacLean returned to the Islanders’ lineup on Thursday night against the Blues at Enterprise Center a bit more comfortable and confident than during his first NHL stint.

“My first time up there, nerves and you don’t really want to mess up or make mistakes,” said MacLean, who had one goal in six games subbing for fourth-line center Casey Cizikas from Jan. 19-Feb. 5. “That’s kind of sitting in the back of your head. Learning to settle in a little bit and that you do have the ability to make plays and you do have a little more time than you think. Just a little more confidence this time around.”

MacLean, the 24-year-old son of Islanders assistant coach John MacLean, is again in the lineup with Cizikas hurting. He was recalled from AHL Bridgeport on Wednesday.

Cizikas exited Tuesday night’s 5-4 overtime win in Pittsburgh 21 seconds into the third period after blocking a shot with his left hand.

Islanders president/general manager Lou Lamoriello said Cizikas would be evaluated when the team returned to New York on Friday.

“I couldn’t tell you any more until we have the doctor look at it to see exactly to what degree and how long,” Lamoriello said.

Coach Patrick Roy said of MacLean after his first NHL stint, “I think he has a future with us. No doubt in my mind.”

“I didn’t see it exactly,” MacLean said of Roy’s comment. “It feels good. I was really happy to get those games in my first time up. Going back down to Bridgeport, just try to use all the knowledge I learned up here.”

Proud coach

Zachary Bolduc, the 17th overall pick in the 2021 draft, made his NHL debut for the Blues after being part of the Quebec Remparts (QMJHL), which won Canadian junior hockey’s Memorial Cup last season. Roy coached that team and the two chatted briefly by the Islanders’ bench toward the end of the Blues’ morning skate.

“The funny part is it’s against us,” Roy said. “I’m happy for him. I had him for two years in Quebec and he was one of our key players. It’s nice to see a player who played for you in junior having a chance to play at the next level. The team we had last year, there’s going to be a lot of our guys that eventually will play their first NHL game.”

More Islanders

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME