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New York Islanders

Islanders Get Anders Lee Back, but May Face Jackets Without Another Key Forward



Anders Lee, New York Islanders

Anders Lee is feeling better after an illness kept him out of the New York Islanders win on Tuesday, but whatever was ailing the Isles captain may keep another player out of the lineup on Thursday.

Lee was back on the ice and spoke with reporters ahead of Thursday’s game with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Anders Lee said he had a bug or food poisoning, but was starting to feel back to normal.

“It just ran its course and now the last couple of days just been getting back my appetite and getting hydrated,” Lee said. “We’ve all been through something like that. Just kind of a 24, 36-hour type of thing. Getting ready to go tonight.”

While Lee’s return will be a positive for the Islanders’ top line, they may be without another one of their forwards in Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The third line center is a game-time decision, according to head coach Barry Trotz.

The Islanders are dodging a proverbial bullet by Lee’s illness not being related to COVID-19, but there is some concern about whatever he had spreading in the dressing room.

“Just like anything you hope if one guy got sick you hope it’s not two or three,” Trotz said. “There is a little concern, but I think our trainers are on it. We’re on it. Just like anything, wash our hands. Keep a little bit of distance and hope they don’t catch anything.”

The Islanders are in the middle of the first leg of a 13 game road trip. New York will face Columbus, Arizona and Vegas before returning home on Monday and having five days before their next game.

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Anders Lee had played in the Islanders’ first two games of the year, but very quickly realized he would not have been very much help had he appeared in Tuesday’s game.

“I was up all night and I knew going into the next day it was going to be tough to figure things out,” Lee said. Whether it was just to get some food down or get something in, but I couldn’t keep anything down even on game day. I didn’t have anything to give.

It was just a call you had to make and I knew (Kieffer Bellows) was going to have much more energy than I was to come in and play the game.”