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Islanders Likely to go with Same Lineup for Game 3 Against Tampa

Barry Trotz also indicates that Jean-Gabriel Pageau is healthy for Game 3



New York Islanders Barry Trotz

If there was any thought that Barry Trotz might change up his lineup after the New York Islanders dropped Game 2 in Tampa, guess again.

The Islanders bench boss said that he would likely employ a similar group on the ice like the one that he had for the previous game. The decision comes even as Oliver Wahlstrom appears to be good to go to return from his injury that has kept him out of the Islanders’ last nine playoff games.

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Wahlstrom was injured during Game 5 of the Islanders First Round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He’s available to come back in Game 3. I don’t know if he’s a candidate,” Trotz said during Zoom interviews on the Islanders off day. “I think we’re going to be healthy tomorrow. I would say we’re going to have a very similar lineup that we had yesterday.”

The comment would also appear to indicate that Jean-Gabriel Pageau is healthy to play after he missed the last 13 minutes of Game 2 with a “tweak.” Trotz told reporters that the Islanders pulled him from the game as a precautionary measure after the team went down three goals.

All of this means that Travis Zajac will remain on the team’s third line alongside Pageau and Kyle Palmieri.

Wahlstrom had slowly been working his way back to being healthy. On Sunday, he skated in warmups ahead of Game 1 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.

Still, Trotz has been quick to temper the notion that Wahlstrom would get right back into the lineup.

“With Zajac, he gives us a little bit more flexibility in the faceoff circle and obviously a little bit more of a checking role,” Trotz said earlier this week. “That’s the biggest thing probably, and experience. It’s working right now so maybe you don’t have to fix it right now.”

For now, it still seems the New York Islanders bench boss is content with how his lineup has played.