The Islanders' depth at center will be tested as Valtteri Filppula will miss the next four weeks with an upper-body injury, the Islanders announced Wednesday -- on Filppula's 35th birthday. Filppula was injured during the first period of Tuesday's loss and did not return.
The four-week timetable means Filppula likely will miss the start of the playoffs, and possibly the entire first round. The veteran has 15 goals and 14 assists in 71 games this season after signing a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Isles.
With Filppula out, Tom Kuhnhackl worked as the third-line center during Wednesday's practice, according to the New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis. Barry Trotz said Kuhnhackl, Leo Komarov and possibly Anthony Beauvillier will fill in at center and the coach isn't considering dressing seven defensemen.
Komarov had played center in the two games prior to Tuesday when Casey Cizikas was out with a lower-body injury.
The Isles also said that winger Jordan Eberle is day to day with an upper-body injury. They face the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday night and sit two points behind Washington for the Metropolitan Division lead entering Wednesday; the Capitals play the Presidents' Trophy-winning Lightning Wednesday night.