The New York Islanders would turn to Travis Zajac in Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins should Oliver Wahlstrom be unable to play in Game 6 on Wednesday. The Isles’ rookie left Monday’s Game 5 win after being driven hard into the boards in a way that saw him violently hit the ice and whiplash his head back and forth.
Wahlstrom was down on the ice for several minutes before he was helped to the locker room by Scott Mayfield and a team trainer. There was no update on him when Islanders head coach Barry Trotz addressed reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
“He’s being looked at right now,” Trotz said. “I don’t have an update right now, but we’ll get it to you when we have it. I don’t have it right now.”
Travis Zajac, along with Michael Dal Colle or Kieffer Bellows, would be the logical choice to replace Wahlstrom in the lineup. Part of the reason why Zajac was brought in was to bolster the depth of the Islanders forwards.
The veteran NHL forward was specifically mentioned by Trotz when asked about potential replacements for Wahlstrom.
“I think more than anything if something were to happen a guy like Travis Zajac would come to mind,” Trotz said. “He’s had a couple of these moments and he’s a couple of positions. I would say he is in the forefront right now there. If we have to do anything with Wahlly there.”
Zajac was acquired by the Islanders in April before the NHL Trade deadline along with Kyle Palmieri from New Jersey. While Palmieri had been in the lineup consistently, Zajac had been in and out of it at different times.
Travis Zajac has not appeared in the postseason through the Islanders’ first five games of the series with Pittsburgh and he has not played in a game since May 8 against the New Jersey Devils. The Islanders currently lead the best of seven series, 3-2.
Game 6 takes place on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum.