The Islanders have their final meeting of the season with their crosstown rivals, who are one Brady Skjei lighter after offloading the defenseman to the Hurricanes at the NHL trade deadline.
But the Smurfs made it through the deadline with Chris Kreider intact, as they compromised with the crease-crashing winger on a seven-year contract extension. He wasn’t available for comment on the deal though, reportedly heading home sick.
Alexandar Georgiev is likely to get the start, as he has had the Isles’ number in six appearances against them. Regardless, Igor Shesterkin is not an option after a car accident that fractured a rib. Pavel Buchnevich, also in that accident but without serious injuries, will also sit out and is “day to day.”
Anyway, our focus is on the latest look for the Islanders, now that they’ve added Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He’ll be in the lineup, as will Derick Brassard, who missed a couple of games after taking a deflected Ryan Pulock pass to the cheek.
They were like this at the morning skate, but Josh Bailey is expected to play too:
#Isles in AM skate:— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) February 25, 2020
Clutterbuck, Johnston extras. Don’t see Bailey out there.
Pageau, as you likely kneau, will wear his familiar #44. I don’t know if that’s out of respect since it’s been his longtime number or if Lou’s arbitrary numeral-and-facial rules allow for numbers that high in random situations.
On the racks and ready to go! #Isles pic.twitter.com/EM6dlkUnGo— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) February 25, 2020