After splitting their back-to-back earlier in the week, a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings and a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks, the New York Islanders hit the ice for practice Friday in San Jose.
The Islanders face the Sharks Saturday night at 10:30 PM ET.
Two forwards were missing when the Islanders took the ice: Casey Cizikas and Josh Bailey.
Cizikas has been playing at a much higher level as of late, with his speed a critical standout. He has two points over his last five games, both coming in the 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on March 7, but he has won 53.06 percent of his draws over that span, with nine hits and three blocks.
For Bailey, he served as a healthy scratch in the Islanders’ win over the Ducks, the fifth time Islanders head coach Lane Lambert sat him down this season.
Bailey has three points over his last five games but has struggled mightily wherever Lambert has placed him in the lineup, his last chance coming alongside Bo Horvat and Anders Lee against the Kings.
READ MORE: Analyzing Ilya Sorokin’s Play Over Last 2 Starts
Following the skate, the Islanders announced that Cizikas and Bailey are both dealing with non-COVID-related illnesses, but both could be available Saturday.
#Isles Player Updates: Cizikas and Bailey are sick (non COVID related illness)
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 17, 2023
Here’s how the New York Islanders lined up at practice with these two absent, per Newsday’s Andrew Gross:
Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Simon Holmstrom
Pierre Engvall-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach-Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin-Ross Johnston-Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech-Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov-Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
Sorokin was the first goaltender off the ice, as he will likely make his third straight start.