TAMPA, Fla — Jonathan Drouin still hasn’t returned to the Lightning lineup after taking a hit to the head from Calvin de Haan on Nov. 1 in Brooklyn, the previous time these two teams played.
De Haan was issued a major for interference despite the fact that he had the puck and Drouin was bent over and reaching. De Haan also received a fighting major when Ryan Callahan challenged the Islanders defenseman after the hit early in the first period.
But Tampa Bay’s coach and players considered the matter settled, even as Drouin missed his fourth game with a suspected concussion.
“It is what it is — it happened, I ended up fighting him right after,” Callahan said. “And I think after that, it gets put to bed pretty quickly.”
“We’re more concerned about how Dru’s doing,” said Brian Boyle, who fought Travis Hamonic later in the Lightning’s 6-1 drubbing of the Islanders last week at Barclays Center. “Cally stepped up and I think you just move on.”
Drouin has been skating on his own, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper said there’s no timetable for the young forward’s return. “It’s all about how he’s feeling,” Cooper said. “He wants to come back as much as anybody.”
Not Barzal’s time yet
The Isles returned Mathew Barzal to Seattle of the Western League on Wednesday after the 16th pick in the 2015 draft played in only two of the first 13 games. Barzal was among the team’s leading scorers in the preseason, but Jack Capuano wanted the 19-year-old to continue working on his game without the puck.
“He’s got incredible skill, we all know that,” Capuano said. “It just isn’t his time right now.”
Anthony Beauvillier, the Islanders’ other 2015 first-rounder, was a healthy scratch for the third time in four games. The Islanders decided not to bring up an extra defenseman for the first game of this two-game Florida swing, going with only the six healthy bodies they have up and 22 total roster spots taken out of 23.