Brock Nelson and Nikolay Kulemin moved to the Islanders top line for practice. Kyle Okposo practiced alongside Frans Nielsen and Mikhail Grabovski. Michael Grabner skated with the Islanders fourth line and scratched forward Cory Conacher skated on the third line Ryan Strome, Anders Lee and Josh Bailey.
"We're just trying to get the best chemistry lines going and make sure top to bottom we're balanced," Lee said about the line jumbling. "Sometimes a little change up is good and...it's going to make things better for us."
The decision to split up Okposo and Tavares -- even for just the one practice -- is a surprising one. Okposo has been a mainstay along side the Islander captain and, aside from former Islander Matt Moulson, is the longest tenured player to play with Tavares on the top line.
"For me it's we have to try and get a balanced attack," Capuano explained. "But more importantly It's how we're playing away from the puck. What lines are giving up chances. To me that's everything. We're going to score some goals if we do the right things, but you have to keep the puck out of your net.
"We have to find lines that are balanced and that are playing away from the puck well."
The play of the top line in their own zone has been something that was talked about last season and why it made sense for Kulemin, who is a responsible player in his own end, to get a shot at the spot. Whether these lines stick for Friday's game in Pittsburgh is unclear.
Johnny Boychuk did not practice with the Islanders on Wednesday. Head Coach Jack Capuano called it a maintenance day for the Islander blue liner.
Boychuk left for a portion of Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Lightning due to some type of injury, but he did return to finish the game. Capuano said "he felt decent this morning."
The Islanders spent the morning visiting local school kids during the team's annual "School Day." Players went to different schools across Long Island and the kids got the chance to ask them questions during the assembly.
"I think this is one of the more important events that we do," Matt Martin said. Martin and Thomas Hickey visited Kramer Lane Elementary school in Plainview. "A lot of kids were wearing Islanders jerseys. They were excited with the position the team's in right now. You just see the smiles on their faces and you know how important it is to them. It's just good to give back to the community."