DENVER — Sebastian Aho got to express his excitement at being called up on Thursday, just a few months into his North American pro career.
On Sunday, he got to discuss his excitement at playing his first NHL game. Doug Weight gave Aho the nod, and he took Dennis Seidenberg’s spot on defense against the Avalanche.
“For sure, it’s going to be special, a lot of fun,” Aho said before the Islanders’ 6-1 loss. “Go out, just play hockey, keep it simple and enjoy it.”
Weight had Aho, a lefthanded shot, on the right side, primarily with Thomas Hickey. Aho said he played the right side the entire season in Bridgeport but feels comfortable on both sides. He also got some power-play time on the second unit.
“He’s going to be excited, a little nervous, but it’s a good time to get him in,” Weight said. “He’s ready, he’s played really well and he understands the game.”
Aho said his family was resting up in the afternoon back home in Umea, Sweden, to be awake for the puck drop at about 2 a.m. local time in his hometown.
Anthony Beauvillier returned to the lineup, as did Alan Quine, who had been a healthy scratch for 10 of the previous 11 games.
Shane Prince and Steve Bernier sat out and Weight shuffled his bottom two lines, starting the game with Jason Chimera and Brock Nelson flanking Casey Cizikas and Beauvillier with Quine and Cal Clutterbuck.
The Islanders have received three goals from their bottom-six forwards in the last nine games. Josh Bailey scored their only goal Sunday.
Avs’ streak: 33-for-33
The Avalanche is last in the Central Division but only three points out of the final playoff spot. Colorado is 7-3-1 in its last 11 games and has a 33-for-33 penalty-kill streak, its longest since the franchise relocated from Quebec.