The Islanders' first night of the preseason was a costly one. Cal Clutterbuck, the energetic forward acquired from the Wild on draft day for former first-round pick Nino Niederreiter, suffered a skate laceration to his leg and "will miss some extended time," according to Islanders coach Jack Capuano.
Clutterbuck played in the split-squad game against the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday night and left the game in the third period after throwing a hit on Calgary's Paul Byron.
It was the first game of any kind in an Islanders uniform for Clutterbuck, 25, who signed a four-year, $11-million deal in July after the Isles traded for him. Clutterbuck was a mainstay in the Wild lineup during his five seasons there and began training camp on a line with Peter Regin and Michael Grabner.
Capuano would not specify a time frame for Clutterbuck's absence. The Isles face the Devils in Newark Thursday night and have five more preseason games before the season opener, also in Newark, on Oct. 4.
Prospects Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome are fighting for roster spots and this injury could open the door for one of them.
As to the rest of the games on Tuesday, a 5-3 loss in Calgary and a 4-2 loss in Regina, Saskatchewan, Capuano said he saw some good, some bad and some rust.
"It was our first game, [the Flames] had a couple already," Capuano said. "But some of our younger guys did well and some of our veterans struggled a little. We have some things to work on."
John Tavares and Matt Moulson scored the goals in Regina. Grabner, Riley Wetmore and 2012 first-round pick Griffin Reinhart scored in Calgary.
"We're going to have to be better at getting bodies to the net and creating turnovers the rest of the preseason," Tavares told the Islanders' website after the game in Regina. "We understand that those are parts of the game that are going to have to be there if we're going to be successful."
The Islanders flew back from Saskatchewan Wednesday and did not skate. Tonight's lineup against the Devils at the Prudential Center may be prospect-heavy, with Saturday's game at Barclays Center sure to include the bigger names on the Islanders' roster.