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New York Islanders

New York Islanders Practice: Player Updates, Line Combinations

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New York Islanders

The New York Islanders were back on the practice ice Saturday morning after an off day on Friday. The Islanders host the Montreal Canadiens Sunday at UBS Arena, at 2 PM ET.

Here is the latest from Saturday’s practice.

Player Updates

When the New York Islanders took the ice for practice on Saturday, goaltender Semyon Varlamov (COVID-19) was absent, along with forward Oliver Wahlstrom. Josh Bailey, who missed Thursday’s contests against the Boston Bruins, rejoined the group.

Following practice, the New York Islanders announced that Semyon Varlamov was back on Long Island but still in protocol. Varlamov tested positive for COVID-19 minutes before puck drop against the Calgary Flames on Feb. 12. Per the Alberta regulations and guidelines, Varlamov had to stay in protocol in Canada for six days (first day, day zero) before being allowed to leave and return to Long Island.

Varlamov, despite returning to the states, is still in COVID-19 protocol. Goaltender Cory Schnieder was the second netminder at practice.

The New York Islanders also announced that Oliver Wahlstrom was day to day with an upper-body injury. That is all the information that we were given. Against the Boston Bruins, Wahlstrom played just 9:46 minutes, with a penalty, a giveaway, and zero shots on goal.

Wahlstrom has no goals in his last six contests and only two in his previous 20 games.

Trotz hinted that Kieffer Bellows would be in the lineup Sunday and stated that Josh Bailey would play, so it is safe to assume that Wahlstrom will not be available against the Montreal Canadiens.

Josh Bailey was not on the ice for Wednesday’s practice as the Islanders announced he was day to day with a lower-body injury. Bailey missed the contest against the Boston Bruins, and Kieffer Bellows was penciled in.

This past Tuesday, Bailey suffered an upper-body injury against the Buffalo Sabres and was not on the ice for Wednesday’s practice.

Line Combos

With Oliver Wahlstrom unavailable and Josh Bailey back, these were the lines head coach Barry Trotz went with Saturday. And these are the lines that are expected to be used against the Montreal Canadiens.

Kieffer Bellows was phenomenal for the New York Islanders in the win over Boston on Thursday. He had the primary assist on Mathew Barzal’s goal to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead. Along with the assist, Bellows had five shots, five hits, a block, and zero turnovers in 14:53 TOI.

“With Kieffer, you know, I tried to be really really positive with him,” Barry Trotz said. “I know I haven’t played him a lot, but I’ve tried to tell him that there’s a reason for everything that we’re trying to do. And if you stick with it, you always get rewarded.”

“Good start the other day for him, getting back into the lineup. He had a really good game for us and I’m hoping that he can parlay that with another good game, which I’m sure you can.”

Kyle Palmieri was up alongside Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee on Thursday and had three shots and six hits in 18:08 TOI. He was back alongside them at practice on Saturday.

Forward Ross Johnston and Andy Greene cycled in during drills and remained on the ice following Saturday’s practice. Both have been healthy scratches the last two games, and it seems that the scratch streak will continue for a third straight contest on Sunday.