Neither defenseman Alexander Romanov nor Mathew Barzal made it back into the Islanders’ lineup before the end of the regular season.
But both were on the ice working before the start of the morning skate on Wednesday and, presumably, are on track to return at some point in the postseason after the Islanders clinched a berth with a 4-2 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday night at UBS Arena.
Coach Lane Lambert said both were progressing.
“Skating well,” Lambert said.
Romanov, who missed his fifth game with an upper body injury, resumed skating on Tuesday, when the Islanders held no team practice or media availability. Barzal missed the season’s final 23 games after suffering what is believed to be a knee injury on Feb. 18.
Said defenseman Noah Dobson said. “As teammates and brothers, when see guys that are out, if you can give them an opportunity to come back and play, you want to try and do that.”
Learning a lesson
Rookie defenseman Samuel Bolduc was benched after allowing Nick Suzuki – who was holding Bolduc’s stick – to beat him to a puck for a shorthanded goal at 16:38 of the second period.
“He was beat up the ice,” Lambert said. “He could have maintained body position on Suzuki. There’s a young player learning and growing and he will learn from those situations.”
Josh Bailey, the longest-tenured Islander, drew back into the lineup in favor of Simon Holmstrom after being a healthy scratch in 10 of the last 12 games. He logged 11:59 without a shot. “I thought he made some key plays, certainly in the third period in our zone against the boards,” Lambert said…Ilya Sorokin finished with 31 wins, the most by an Islanders goalie since Jaroslav Halak’s 38 in 2014-15…The Islanders won 38-of-56 faceoffs (68%)…It was Fan Appreciation Night.