According to the New York Post’s Ethan Sears, the Islanders are trying out “completely different” forward lines in the aftermath of this injury. Cizikas is normally entrenched as the team’s fourth-line center, on an “identity line” with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. Jean-Gabriel Pageau has now taken on that role in his absence, while star forward Mat Barzal has shifted from Bo Horvat’s wing to Pageau’s old spot at third-line center, among other changes.
Cizikas played in the Islanders’ last game, but was knocked out of the contest after just four minutes of time on the ice. The 32-year-old veteran of nearly 800 games has scored 11 points in 39 contests this season. He’s most valued on Long Island for his work ethic and defensive abilities.
He’s the team’s leading penalty killer at the forward position, meaning the Islanders will need another center (likely Horvat, since Pageau is already a regular penalty killer) to step up and fill in some of those short-handed minutes left behind by Cizikas.