Ryan Strome figured his healthy-scratch days were done after setting up two goals in Game 1 in Tampa. But Strome was back in street clothes for Game 3 to make room for Josh Bailey’s return to the lineup.
“”I honestly don’t really have much to say,” Strome said on Tuesday morning. “I try to be a good a team guy and I don’t want to draw any negative attention to myself. It’s a big opportunity for us here tonight and I’m sure the guys that are playing will do the job.”
Strome was scratched for Games 5 and 6 against the Panthers after he had a solid Game 1, with a goal and assist, then went quiet for the next three games. Several Islanders forwards were in the same danger of being left out on Tuesday, but Jack Capuano decided on Strome.
“Last series (the message was) I needed to be a little harder to play against,” Strome said. “Points don’t always tell the whole story. I’m always confident in my game, but unfortunately I don’t make the decisions. I have to live with it. But it’s an important time here and no matter what I’m thinking right now, it’s all about the team.”
Setback for Pulock?
Ryan Pulock, who had been out since suffering an upper-body injury in Game 4 against the Panthers, appeared on target to return Tuesday until he abruptly left Monday’s practice before his teammates finished their work and was not on the ice for the team’s optional skate at Barclays Center on Tuesday morning.
“He’s still not available, hopefully soon,” Capuano said.
Pulock had a goal and two assists in four games in the opening round.
Matt Martin was named one of three finalists for the NHL Foundation award, given to the player that shows deep commitment to community work. Also nominated were the Flames’ Mark Giordano and the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban.