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Johnny Boychuk could return to Isles in Hurricanes series 'if it goes the distance'

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk skates against the Coyotes

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk skates against the Coyotes at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on March 24. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Johnny Boychuk may be down, but he might not necessarily be out.

Barry Trotz said that Boychuk, who suffered an apparent leg injury after blocking a shot with his leg in Game 4 against the Penguins, could potentially see action in this series against the Hurricanes, though it is unlikely.

“Probably not…if it goes the distance, maybe,” said Trotz after the optional morning skate at Barclays Center. “But he’s making great progress and hopefully be back on the ice fairly shortly.”

Though tempered, that is somewhat good news for the defenseman, who was originally set to miss three to four weeks. Boychuk was injured on April 16, and three weeks would bring him to May 7, on the day of the potential Game 6. In his stead, Thomas Hickey will rejoin the Islanders ‘D’ after a long absence. Hickey, who suffered a suspected concussion on Dec. 17, has only played in eight games since then, and one since March 21.

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