The Islanders enter tonight’s action with a four-point advantage on a Wild Card spot and will welcome back one of their long-time veterans tonight as the team announced (Twitter link) that they’ve activated winger Cal Clutterbuck off injured reserve.
He had missed close to two months with an upper-body injury, his third upper-body issue of the season. In between missing those contests, the 35-year-old has put up four goals and four assists along with 130 hits in 34 games while averaging 12:09 per night, primarily on the fourth line.
It appears that Clutterbuck will be taking the place of Otto Koivula in the lineup tonight against Washington as Newsday’s Andrew Gross relays (Twitter link) that Koivula is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. The 24-year-old is averaging less than seven minutes per game in his first eight NHL appearances of the season but still has a pair of assists, matching his output from 2021-22.
Meanwhile, New York will still be waiting at least a little longer for two of their key injured forwards to return. Gross adds (Twitter link) that there remains no timetable for center Mathew Barzal to resume skating as he tries to work his way back from a lower-body injury. However, the expectation is that Jean-Gabriel Pageau should accompany the team on their upcoming West Coast road trip; the veteran has missed the last month with an upper-body injury.