It was a sight that no one wanted to see. Oliver Wahlstrom down on the ice after an awkward collision with Pittsburgh Penguins defender Mike Matheson that sent the rookie off the boards and his head violently bouncing from one side to the other during Monday’s 3-2 comeback win in Game 5.
Wahlstrom was down on the ice for several moments before he was helped to the locker room by a team trainer and Scott Mayfield. The rookie had been having a very strong playoffs before Monday’s incident, which included his first career playoff goal in Game 4 on Long Island.
“It’s never fun to lose a teammate and Wahlly has been a big player for us all year and even in the playoffs,” linemate Jean-Gabriel Pageau said. “Scoring big goals, making hard plays and for a first-year (player) it’s very impressive. I was lucky to play with him. We’re going to hope he’s okay. When one guy goes down, some other guys have to step up and they did tonight. We’re very happy with the win tonight.”
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz did not have much of an update on the rookie after the game. He characterized him as day-to-day.
“Hopefully when we get him back and see where he is tomorrow we’ll have a better idea,” Trotz said after the game.
Game 6 of the series between the Islanders and Pittsburgh is scheduled for Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum and the team is likely to skate at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow on Tuesday. A time has still not been announced for Game 6.
Oliver Wahlstrom has three points (one goal, two assists) in five playoff games this season. He had 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in 44 regular-season games with the Islanders this year.
If Wahlstrom is not able to play for Game 6 it would open the door for Michael Dal Colle or Kieffer Bellows to likely make their postseason debut in his place.