Overcast 51° Good Afternoon
Overcast 51° Good Afternoon

Ryan Strome finally returns to lineup for Islanders

New York Islanders center Ryan Strome skates against

New York Islanders center Ryan Strome skates against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period of an NHL hockey game at Barclays Center on Monday, October 12, 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

NEWARK - Ryan Strome got back in the lineup Saturday afternoon after missing Thursday night's overtime loss to the Hurricanes with an illness -- one he inadvertently might have passed along to his teammate and landlord, John Tavares, who missed the shootout loss.

Strome had just cycled back into the lineup on Monday night after missing another game, Saturday's OT win in St. Louis, but not because he was ill. That was a healthy scratch and Strome wasn't thrilled about it. He was a bit philosophical about the tough love he's gotten from the Islanders' front office and coaching staff ever since he became the fifth overall pick in 2011.

"I'm a guy that needs to be pushed sometimes, at times harder than others, and I accept that," Strome said. "I always try to be a team guy and I always try to respond when I get that tough love."

Strome had a goal and four assists in his first seven games, but Jack Capuano and the coaching staff needed to see more. He didn't have a point Saturday in 14:21 of ice time, primarily with Anders Lee and Brock Nelson, the "Kid Line" that had some success last season.

"You just look at the big picture -- you're not that established guy in the league yet," he said. "To stick around a long, long time, you have to earn everything. That's how I'm looking at it."

College hockey matinee

The Isles host the Sabres at 7:30 Sunday night, but Barclays Center has a college hockey doubleheader earlier in the day. Notre Dame and UConn face off at 11:15 a.m. and Army and Bentley follow. Tickets still are available for those games.

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