It was the rookies who came out for the veteran acquisitions.
Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows did not play for the Islanders on Thursday night against the Flyers at Nassau Coliseum after Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac were acquired from the Devils on Wednesday.
Wahlstrom, who entered Thursday sixth on the team with nine goals, had not been out of the lineup since Jan. 31 and had played in 32 of the previous 33 games. He missed the end of the first period in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Capitals but returned to start the second period.
Bellows has three goals in 14 games. He logged 10:16 Tuesday after sitting out the previous three games.
Back to Varly?
Goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to start Friday night against the Rangers at the Coliseum after Ilya Sorokin started Thursday.
For Varlamov, who made 29 saves on Tuesday for his fourth shutout this season, it’s a chance to blank the Rangers for a third consecutive time.
Varlamov made 24 saves in a 4-0 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 14 in the season opener for both. Then he stopped 30 shots in a 2-0 win at the Garden on Feb. 8. Varlamov was supposed to start the Islanders’ 5-0 loss at the Garden on Jan. 16 but was injured in warmups and Sorokin was forced to make his NHL debut.
Palmieri logged 15:11, including 3:57 on the power play, with two shots. Zajac got 12:34 of ice time, including 1:05 on the penalty kill, with one shot . . . Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello won his 1,320th game as an NHL GM, moving into sole possession of second place on the league’s all-time list behind the Predators’ David Poile (1,429).
Friday’s game is the first of five between the New York rivals through May 1.
King still out
Longtime Islanders radio play-by-play voice Chris King missed his fourth straight game on Thursday because of COVID-19 protocols and will not work Friday. Radio analyst Greg Picker was given the play-by-play assignment for both games, working with Islanders senior manager for web content Cory Wright.