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Islanders’ Josh Bailey continues to make progress from injury

Islanders right wing Josh Bailey passes the puck

Islanders right wing Josh Bailey passes the puck against the Jets during a game at Barclays Center on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Josh Bailey skated again on Tuesday morning, his third straight day on the ice as he tries to get back from a lower-body injury that kept him out of a fourth straight game on Tuesday night.

“Bails is feeling pretty good,” Doug Weight said before Tuesday’s game. “We’ll get him on the ice tomorrow and see how he feels. He’s the only one [who could play] anywhere into this week.”

The rest of the Islanders injury list trails way behind Bailey in terms of recovery. Weight sounded a bit more optimistic about Andrew Ladd (upper) and Johnny Boychuk (lower), both of whom are on injured reserve.

Neither Ladd nor Boychuk has skated since the team returned from its five-day break on Friday. Boychuk missed his ninth straight game on Tuesday and Ladd missed his fourth.

“Johnny B is feeling pretty good, but hasn’t skated yet, so he needs to get some grease on his bones,” Weight said. “Ladder the same, but all of them are starting to turn a corner and feel a little better.”

Casey Cizikas (upper, likely hand) is still not on anyone’s radar for a return, Nikolay Kulemin (shoulder surgery) is months away and Calvin de Haan (shoulder) is likely done for the year.

Mayfield plays

There was one bit of good injury news on Tuesday. Scott Mayfield, who left Monday’s game after the second period following a puck deflecting into his chin and neck, took warmups and was in the lineup against the Devils.

The Isles went with seven defensemen and 11 forwards, sitting Tanner Fritz and putting Dennis Seidenberg in.

Habs praise Barzal

It’s rare to see an opposing team laud a player, especially after a loss. But the Canadiens had some high praise for Mathew Barzal after his three-point night in Montreal on Monday.

“He’s by far the best skater in the league,” Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty said. “It’s no question. A lot of guys judge speed goal line to blue line, whatever, a straight line. But he’s crossing over the entire game, winding up, building speed. Every time we lose the puck in the O zone, you turn around for a second and I can just see his hair flapping in the wind in front of me and I had to get on my horse and get back . . . That was the toughest matchup I’ve had this year.”

Here’s Habs center Paul Byron on Barzal: “It’s unbelievable to see a 20-year-old or 21-year-old skate the way he does with the puck and handle it probably as close as I’ve seen to (Connor) McDavid in terms of skill and speed. Incredible talent to watch and play against.”

New York Sports