J-F Berube’s five-goal drubbing by the Penguins on Saturday hurt the Islanders in more ways than one. They announced Monday morning that the backup goalie is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and recalled Christopher Gibson on an emergency basis from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Coach Jack Capuano told reporters that he believes Berube should be back in a few days. In the meantime, the Islanders, who are in a pivotal stretch and have yet to clinch a playoff berth with four games left in the regular season, might have to use what essentially is a fourth choice in the crease. Jaroslav Halak (groin) isn’t expected to return until the playoffs.
Gibson, 23, was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Kings in 2011 and traded to the Islanders by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015. In 42 games with the Sound Tigers, he was 19-11-6 with a .909 save percentage and 2.70 goals-against average. In his only NHL game, he made his debut on Jan. 2 against the Penguins and allowed a goal with 16 saves in 29:03 in a 5-2 loss.
The Islanders loaned defenseman Adam Pelech to the Sound Tigers for conditioning. The 21-year-old, who went down with what appeared to be a season-ending upper-body injury in January, is making strides and getting closer to returning to the NHL, Capuano said Sunday. Pelech’s unexpected return is fortuitous for the Islanders, given that Travis Hamonic went down with what appeared to be a knee injury last week and will miss at least the rest of the regular season . . . Ryan Pulock played in place of Brian Strait on Monday night as the Islanders began a home-and- away back-to-back. They will face the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals tonight in Washington.