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Islanders @ Capitals: Pageau returns, Robin Salo recalled [Game #80]

With J-G Pageau out of COVID protocol, Otto Koivula was returned to Bridgeport.

NHL: Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The New York Islanders will have at least one lineup change as the begin a home-and-home with the Washington Capitals. J-G Pageau is out of COVID protocol, so he’ll be back in the lineup and Otto Koivula has been returned to Bridgeport.

That was known this morning, but a new alert came this evening as the Isles announced Robin Salo had been recalled on emergency basis. We’ll learn soon who’s likely absence led to that move, and (if we’re lucky) why.

The Isles have nothing to play for but pride and stats. The Capitals can still change their playoff station by catching the Penguins (one point ahead) for third in the Metro or perhaps the Bruins (three points ahead) in the second wild card spot.

But they’ll be dealing with a potentially big blow while trying to pull that off: Alex Ovechkin is officially “day to day” but that could include multiple days threatening his availability for the start of the playoffs. The Capitals naturally will not be very forthcoming about the issue but it’s believed that Ovechkin injured his arm or shoulder while crashing into the boards after a breakaway attempt against the Maple Leafs.

In addition to these two games with the Isles, the Capitals finish their schedule with a game against the Smurfs.

Anyway, game time is 7 p.m. in D.C., and this one gets the MSG+2 (twice the plus!) treatment.