The New York Islanders sent out an injury update just before their Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team announced that injured forwards Casey Cizikas and Tom Kuhnhackl are both injured, have left the bubble and will not return for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Those are two key blows for the Islanders, who are trying to even up their series against Tampa Bay.
Cizikas missed Game 3 with an undisclosed injury and was thought to be a game-time decision for Game 4, but obviously, the injury was worse than anyone thought. The forward played in 18 games so far throughout the playoffs. While boasting just two assists during the playoffs, the forward has been invaluable as a fourth-line center next to Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin. Both Clutterbuck and Martin have been playing next to Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the meantime. However, with Cizikas out, the team loses an impressive defender who plays with much-needed physicality and matched up well against Tampa Bay’s size on the other side. He finished the regular season with 113 hits and a 53.5 percent faceoff win percentage and has been a candidate for the Selke in his career twice.
Kuhnhackl is another loss, albeit less significant. However, with the loss of Cizikas, Kuhnhackl’s injury is even more important. The 28-year-old forward has only appeared in three playoff games this season and splitting his regular season time between the Islanders and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. He has been a healthy scratch often when with the Islanders. However, with team depth being of utmost important with injuries mounting, Kuhnhackl might have seen more and more playing time.
No word on what type of injury each player has sustained.