Islanders goalie Robin Lehner was named the NHL’s second star of the month for January on Friday. Though he appreciates personal accolades, they’re far from his focus.
“It’s nice to get recognition, but everything right now is about making the playoffs,” Lehner said. “That’s all I think about. That’s all we think about is the next game, the next week. It’s going to be incredibly satisfying making the playoffs with this type of group and for these fans.”
Lehner, 27, is expected to start against the Kings on Saturday night at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. Lehner (15-7-4) entered Friday leading the league with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage.
He went 6-1-1 with a 1.73 GAA, a .935 save percentage and one shutout in January.
The Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau (eight goals, 10 assists in 11 games) was named the first star for January and the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane (seven goals, 14 assists in 10 games) was the third star.
Lehner was named the NHL’s first star of the week on Jan. 21.
The Isles fell to 2-5 in shootouts after Friday’s wildly entertaining 1-0 loss to the Lightning at the Coliseum, and coach Barry Trotz was asked if he misses ties.
“A little bit,” he said. “We’re an identity team. We preach all team and [the shootout] goes with sort of a man-on-man thing. From a fan standpoint, they want to see an end result.”
Left wing Andrew Ladd (lower body), on injured reserve since Nov. 15, and defenseman Thomas Hickey (upper body), on IR since Dec. 18, participated in Friday’s morning skate wearing orange non-contact jerseys. Trotz said there is no timetable for them to join the team for a full practice . . . Friday and Saturday marked the Islanders’ first back-to-back games at the Coliseum since March 28-29, 2015.