As the Islanders continue their preparation for the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs while waiting to see who their opponent will be, they got some banged-up bodies back on the ice.
Right wing Cal Clutterbuck and defenseman Scott Mayfield both returned to practice Monday. They hadn't practiced with the team since the Isles defeated the Penguins in Game 4 last Tuesday to secure a first-round sweep. Clutterbuck missed the third period of Game 4.
"At the time, Game 4 was the most important thing, and if I could've played in the third, I would've played in the third," Clutterbuck said Monday. "I was able to get a couple days that, had we not had the time, probably would've resulted in some lost time."
Mayfield said he felt "great" during practice and is looking forward to getting more practice time in after resting.
"That's kind of what you get when you finish a series early," Mayfield said. "Rest is a weapon, I think, especially in the playoffs when it's kind of a grind."
The Islanders might finally find out their next opponent tonight. Washington takes a 3-2 series lead over Carolina into Monday's Game 6 in Raleigh. A possible Game 7 would take place on Wednesday.
"I want them to go seven if they can," Barry Trotz said. "An example, if we would have not beaten Pittsburgh in four games, then I don't know if a guy like Clutter, Mayfield -- we had five guys out. Now we have three, and that's Johnny (Boychuk,) (Tanner) Fritz and (Andrew) Ladd. So when you get time you can use it. Who knows? Someone else might get nicked up tonight in that series, and mentally it's more draining, physically it's more draining."