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Islanders Practice Points: Brock Nelson Missing, Bortuzzo Returns



AP Photo/Adam Hunger

EAST MEADOW, NY– Following a week-long road trip, the New York Islanders returned home on Friday. But as the team took the ice for practice at Northwell Health Ice Center, it did so without forward Brock Nelson who was absent due to personal reasons.

Islanders head coach Patrick Roy said after practice that Nelson will be in the lineup for the Islanders tomorrow against the Ottawa Senators.

While Nelson was absent from practice, defenseman Robert Bortuzzo rejoined the Islanders first time in a month.

“He looked good,” Roy said of Bortuzzo. ” I didn’t pay that much attention to him because [head athletic trainer Damien Hess] is going to let me know when he’s ready to play, but looked good.”

Bortuzzo suffered a lower-body injury back on Jan. 2 and has been out of the lineup since. After being moved to long-term injured reserve on Feb. 3, Bortuzzo began to show signs of a return to action when he began skating with the team ahead of the NHL Stadium Series.

However, Bortuzzo later suffered a setback, one that was significant enough for Islanders president/general manager to say the defenseman would be out indefinitely just a few weeks ago.

While the Islanders would certainly welcome a healthy Bortuzzo back into the lineup, his gritty, defensive-minded skillset won’t be of much help when it comes to scoring goals.

The Islanders have failed to score a goal in more than 120:00 minutes of play after suffering their second straight shutout loss on Thursday to the Buffalo Sabres.

Prior to a pair of games this weekend, the Islanders own the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. With 72 points, they are tied with the Detroit Red Wings while having a game in hand and trail the Philadelphia Flyers by four in the Metropolitan Division.

The Islanders host the Senators at UBS Arena tomorrow at 12:3o p.m. before facing the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.




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