SUNRISE, Fla. — Marek Zidlicky in for the injured Ryan Pulock on defense wasn’t a big surprise. Perhaps the shock came up front for the Islanders in Game 5 on Friday night, with Ryan Strome a healthy scratch and veteran Steve Bernier taking Strome’s spot in the lineup.
Strome had a goal and assist in Game 1 but had been scoreless the next three. His primary line, with rookies Shane Prince and Alan Quine, had been pretty effective in limited minutes the first four games, but Jack Capuano decided to keep struggling veterans Josh Bailey and Nikolay Kulemin in the lineup for Game 5.
Capuano did shuffle his lines for pregame warmups quite a bit, putting Quine on the wing with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, moving Frans Nielsen back to center between Kulemin and Bailey and creating a Prince-Brock Nelson- Bernier third line.
Bernier, who made his Islanders playoff debut, remembered well his last postseason run. It began in a seven-game series here, with the Devils knocking out the Panthers in 2012.
“You don’t want to look to the past, but you can draw on it,” Bernier said. “We won a couple games down here and it’s a fun place to play this time of year.”
Pulock out one to two weeks
Capuano said the initial time frame for Pulock’s apparent shoulder injury is one to two weeks, which would allow the rookie defenseman to return sometime in the second round if the Isles advance.
Zidlicky, 39, made his Isles postseason debut Friday night. It was his first playoff game since Game 6 of last season’s first round with the Red Wings, when he suffered a concussion and missed a Game 7 loss.