Nikolay Kulemin could miss the rest of the regular season with an upper-body injury suffered in the first period of Friday’s win in Pittsburgh.
Kulemin certainly will miss the next two games, Thursday in Philadelphia and Friday in Brooklyn against the Devils, which leaves the final five games in the last seven days for him to try to squeeze in a return without much practice time.
“He’s got some discomfort. The plan of attack is to work every day and see if he can get back on the ice,” Doug Weight said Monday. “It’s not going to be longer than two, three weeks. Best-case scenario would be the end of the week, and I don’t know that’s going to happen.”
Kulemin’s 12 goals and 22 points won’t be what the Islanders miss most. Stephen Gionta played in Kulemin’s spot on the fourth line with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck, and that trio isn’t as effective as one that includes Kulemin.
Boychuk getting close
Johnny Boychuk’s right leg injury might not keep him out another game beyond Monday night, but it still has been nearly a month since he blocked a shot in Chicago on March 2. Boychuk missed his 12th straight game, though he did progress from skating before the rest of his teammates to skating with them Monday.
“Johnny is close. It’s good to see him out there today,” Weight said. “Hopefully we can get two or three really good days of practice here and see what he has for us on Thursday.”
Odds and ends
Island Park’s Anthony Bitetto played for the first time in nearly two weeks and picked up an assist on Nashville’s first goal . . . PA Parenteau, acquired by the Predators from the Devils, was a healthy scratch, the fourth straight game he sat out.