Brock Nelson had a cut under his right eye and an OK from the doctors after going through concussion protocol in the Islanders’ 2-1 loss to the Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
He was blindsided by Alex Killorn — who was assessed a boarding major and a game misconduct — into the glass at 5:55 of the first period. On his first shift back, he took an unpenalized cross check from Barclay Goodrow at 11:14 of the second period and again had his head smacked into the glass.
“The penalty was called correctly,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “A player unsuspecting. That’s a dangerous play and we’ll let the league deal with that. The second one, I just thought it was a little bit of a target to the head.”
“I felt like I was getting hit quite a bit,” Nelson said. “You fight through it and get to your game.”
Cal Clutterbuck logged 10:29 with six hits after Trotz called him a “game-time decision.” Clutterbuck exited Monday’s Game 1 at 11:50 of the second period after blocking defenseman Mikhail Sergachev’s hard power-play shot and did not skate on Tuesday.
Trotz inserted Andrew Ladd for his first NHL playoff game since April 25, 2016 with Chicago.
Ladd, who spent the majority of this season with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after two knee surgeries last season, had five hits in 11:51 in his first game since March 10 and was on the ice for Nikita Kucherov’s winning goal with 8.8 seconds left.
Leo Komarov also went in with Derick Brassard and burly Ross Johnston not dressing.
The Islanders’ Lou Lamoriello is a finalist for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award along with the Lightning’s Julien BriseBois and the Stars’ Jim Nill.
The winner will be announced on Saturday.