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Islanders expect to have Bailey back vs. Lightning

New York forward has been out since Game 6 of first round

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor


Eastern Conference Second Round

Best-of-7 series tied 1-1

TV: 7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey is expected to return for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Barclays Center on Tuesday.

Bailey skated Tuesday after practicing Monday. He has been out since sustaining an upper-body injury in the first period against the Florida Panthers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round.

"We'll see how it feels throughout the day, but I feel good right now," Bailey said. "Hopefully I'll get a chance here tonight.

"It's a big situation and it's a big time of year. I'm chomping at the bit to get that opportunity to compete and contribute. I'm looking forward to getting it hopefully here tonight."

Bailey struggled at times during the first round; he had one assist and a minus-4 rating in six games.

"First couple of games were tough," Bailey said. "The numbers obviously show that too. But as the series rolls on I think I was feeling good about my game. I just want to create more offensively, obviously. But all in all it was something to build off of.

"You turn the page. It's a new team, a new series. I'm looking forward to getting a crack at it here."

The Islanders were hoping to have defenseman Ryan Pulock for Game 3, but he still has not recovered from the upper-body injury he sustained during Game 4 against Florida. Defenseman Marek Zidlicky is expected to remain in the lineup.

"Ryan's just not feeling up to par yet but he's getting close," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.

Here are the projected lineups:


Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Jonathan Drouin

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - Ryan Callahan

Erik Condra - Vladislav Namestnikov - Jonathan Marchessault

Victor Hedman - Braydon Coburn

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Nikita Nesterov - Slater Koekkoek

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Injured: Steven Stamkos (vascular surgery), Mike Blunden (upper body), Anton Stralman (leg), J.T. Brown (upper body), Matthew Carle (undisclosed)

Scratched: Joel Vermin, Matt Taormina


Alan Quine - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Nikolay Kulemin - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey

Shane Prince - Brock Nelson - Steve Bernier

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Travis Hamonic

Calvin de Haan - Johnny Boychuk

Thomas Hickey - Marek Zidlicky

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Injured: Anders Lee (broken fibula), Mikhail Grabovski (upper body), Ryan Pulock (upper body), Jaroslav Halak (lower body)

Scratched: Ryan Strome, Eric Boulton, James Wright, Brian Strait, Christopher Gibson

Status report: Stralman skated Tuesday during an optional practice but is not expected to play. He did not speak to the media. … Carle, Brown and Blunden skated Tuesday but it is unknown if any of them will play. Lightning coach Jon Cooper was not available to the media. "I'm feeling good," said Blunden, who hasn't played since Game 5 of the first round against the Detroit Red Wings. "I don't know yet for tonight. I'll talk to the [doctors], but I'm feeling good." … Strome, who was a healthy scratch for Games 5 and 6 against Florida and had two assists in the Islanders' 5-3 win in Game 1 of against the Lightning, was on the ice with the expected scratches Tuesday, an indication he won't play. He has one goal and three assists in six postseason games. "You want to play," Strome said. "Any time you don't get to play and you get that opportunity taken away from you, it [stinks]. So it is what it is. There's not too much I can say. I can throw out all the clichés I want. I think it's just a matter of when you get in there, you've got to make the most of it."

Who's hot: Drouin has one goal and two assists in two games against the Islanders. … Johnson had two goals and an assist in Tampa Bay's 4-1 win in Game 2. … Quine has one goal and three assists during a four-game point streak.

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