The New York Islanders are getting a key member of their team back. Casey Cizikas has been activated from injured reserve ahead of their Saturday night matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team will play an afternoon game in New York before taking a three day break and recharging for the rest of the playoff run. Currently one point behind the Maple Leafs for the final wildcard position, the Islanders desperately needed some good news on the health front.
Cizikas has been out almost a month with an upper-body injury, leaving the February 21st game against the Detroit Red Wings after just seven minutes of ice time. After several years centering the league’s best fourth line between Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin, Cizikas has been used all throughout the Islanders lineup this season as they’ve dealt with injuries and players leaving in free agency. With 23 points in 53 games, he was well on track to shatter his previous career high of 29 points and looked like he was developing into a solid secondary scoring option.
With the emergence of Josh Ho-Sang as a legitimate option in the Islanders’ top-six, it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup should Cizikas play tomorrow. Anthony Beauvillier and Alan Quine are both options or head coach Doug Weight could sit an under-performer like Nikolai Kulemin and move one of those two to the wing. At any rate, getting Cizikas back into the lineup is a big boost for the team as they look to make it back to the playoffs after a dreadful start to the season.
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