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Practice Update: Wahlstrom Takes Line Rushes with Barzal, Robin Salo Absent

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New York Islanders, Oliver Wahlstrom
New York Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom (Courtesy of New York Islanders Instagram)

After a weekend full of struggles, the New York Islanders had an off-day on Monday to reflect on losses to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florid Panthers. They were back on the ice on Tuesday for practice, and we saw some more lineup changes.

New York Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom, who has been one of the positives despite the 2-4-0 start, was elevated to the top line with Mathew Barzal. On the left side of Barzal was Josh Bailey.

After missing opening night, a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Oct. 13, Wahlstrom has three goals and an assist in five games this season. He has shot the puck at will, with 18 shots so far, 3.6 shots per game.

He has added a physical element to his game, with nine hits, has a block, and until the 3-2 loss to the Panthers on Sunday, had yet to turn the puck over (two now on the season).

The majority of his minutes have come aside Anders Lee and Brock Nelson, with 18.3 minutes played as a line. Two of those three goals have come from that line, two snipes against the Anaheim Ducks back in game two of the regular season.

His remaining 11.7 minutes have come alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri, where he scored one goal off a beautiful breakaway move against the Anaheim Ducks.

New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert has tried everything to get his lines going, and this is the latest move.

“I just need to focus on playing the right way. In the past, sometimes, I get away from the game a little bit, just staying poised, and confident and not getting away from the little things,” Wahlstrom said. “I noticed when I do little things, I might not score the first four or five games, but you know, chances come, and the puck will eventually go in.”

Lane Lambert closed his media session with a great line about Oliver Wahlstrom: “He’s played well. He’s done a good job on the walls, getting pucks out. We talked about his limited turnovers. There’s different areas of his game and different aspects of his game, as long as you do certain things, right. Things will take care of itself.”

23-year-old defenseman Robin Salo is in Bridgeport, as despite being re-assigned to Bridgeport on Saturday, traveled with the team Sunday to Sunrise, Florida. The Islanders how only have six defensemen rostered.

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