NEWARK — Rookie Kieffer Bellows was moved to the Islanders’ taxi squad and out of the lineup for the first time this season.
But despite skating in Bellows’ former spot during Saturday’s practice, fellow rookie Oliver Wahlstrom wasn’t the one who replaced him in Sunday night’s 2-0 loss to the Devils at Prudential Center.
Instead, Michael Dal Colle was activated off injured reserve and logged 10:49 in his first game this season.
"He had a great first game back," right wing Josh Bailey said. "He was all over the puck early. He made some good, confident plays. I was so happy for him to draw back in and have a good game."
But coach Barry Trotz understandably was not satisfied with his forwards’ overall game. "We need everybody contributing to our lineup," he said. "Right now, we’re not getting enough from every line."
Trotz had Dal Colle on Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s left wing, along with Ross Johnston. But the lines got scrambled after Anthony Beauvillier was hurt in the second period. Trotz did not have an update on him after the game.
Dal Colle, the fifth overall pick in 2014, had four goals and six assists in 53 games for the Islanders last season.
Coach Barry Trotz, asked after Saturday’s practice if he was curious to see how Wahlstrom, the 11th overall pick in 2018, would fare in a game, namechecked Dal Colle along with Wahlstrom, Dmytro Timashov and Austin Czarnik as players he was interested in seeing.
On Sunday, Trotz said he anticipated some lineup changes during this season-high five-game road trip. "One of the things we’re fortunate with is that, knock on wood, we haven’t had any injuries," said Trotz, anticipating forced lineup changes during the season either because of injuries or COVID-19 issues. "We’re trying to get a little rhythm with the group. But sort of subtle changes to try and keep everybody involved.
With the taxi squad, they sometimes feel like the outlier so we’re monitoring them and evaluating them every day, making a little bit of competition. We have a busy week. I’m sure you’ll see different lineups as we go along."
The Devils honored two of their former players, defenseman Andy Greene and goalie Cory Schneider, with a tribute video during a stoppage at 7:11 of the first period. Greene hopped off the Islanders’ bench to acknowledge his former teammates’ stick taps. Schneider, not dressed for the game, was shown on the scoreboard.
The Islanders’ power play was 0-for-2, though it generated six shots . . . Jordan Eberle took a game-high six shots but was stoned at opposite posts twice within 26 seconds in the second period . . . Defenseman Sebastian Aho and Leo Komarov, along with Schneider, remained the healthy scratches.