BUFFALO — Defenseman Nick Leddy had enough of a nagging lower-body issue to be held out of the Islanders’ 1-0 win over the Sabres on Saturday night at KeyBank Center, but coach Barry Trotz said he does not expect it to be a long-term absence.
Trotz said Leddy aggravated the issue in Friday night’s 5-2 win over the visiting Lightning. He predicted that Leddy will be able to practice on Monday.
Righthanded-shooting rookie Noah Dobson, 19, moved to his off-side to pair with righthanded-shooting Johnny Boychuk. Dobson, the 12th overall pick in 2018, had two shots and one blocked shot in 11:52 in his fourth career game.
Trotz said Dobson will continue to be spotted into the lineup as a way of protecting his development. “Every game he plays, he looks a little more comfortable,” Trotz said. “That’s sort of the plan. This league can steal your confidence away. A young player, it can. Once you lose that confidence, you always end up taking steps backward.”
Ladd to Bridgeport
Left wing Andrew Ladd took another step toward his eventual return from knee surgery when the Islanders placed him on long-term injured reserve in order to reassign him to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport for a conditioning assignment.
Ladd was on the Sound Tigers’ top line against visiting Lehigh Valley on Saturday night, his first game action since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament on March 24. He can remain with the Sound Tigers for three games or five days before the Islanders must ask permission to have his conditioning assignment extended.
Trotz indicated that Ladd will rejoin the Isles after playing his allotted games. “Hopefully, he’ll get some games, show what he can do and get to that level again,” he said. “But he’s got lots of work to do.”
Cal Clutterbuck logged 16:51 with four shots in his 800th NHL game. “Cal has been a guy who’s been a pain in the backside for a lot of opponents,” Trotz said. “He doesn’t get too many easy minutes. He gets a lot of heavy lifting.” . . . Center Cole Bardreau, who grew up in nearby Fairport and left 60 tickets for family and friends, had a second-period breakaway turned aside. “It’s a dream just to get an NHL game,” said Bardreau, who played in his sixth career game. “It’s been a daydream to play in Buffalo in front of family and friends for a long time. We bounced around a lot growing up, but the Rochester community really took me in. That’s why I call it home.” . . . Left wing Anthony Beauvillier got the lone assist on right wing Derick Brassard’s goal, marking the first time this season an Islanders defenseman has not contributed at least one point . . . Center Otto Koivula was a healthy scratch as he awaits his NHL debut.