NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s nothing like starting off the preseason with a major injury.
The Islanders are in that boat now after losing rugged forward Cal Clutterbuck for “some extended time” due to a laceration to his right leg, head coach Jack Capuano told Newsday on Wednesday.
Clutterbuck left Tuesday night’s split-squad game against the Flames in Calgary in the third period after delivering a hit. He was seen at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday morning walking with a limp and sporting a long gash on his thigh, Newsday reported.
Clutterbuck was the major piece shipped to the Islanders in the trade that sent disgruntled forward Nino Neiderreiter to the Minnesota Wild on draft day. The Isles then signed the 25-year-old wing to a four-year, $11 million contract.
While the actual length of time Clutterbuck will miss has not been confirmed, the Islanders will likely prepare for life without him for at least a few weeks. That will include the remainder of the preseason, which still has five games to go, including Thursday night against the Devils at the Prudential Center and on Saturday in the much-anticipated first hockey game at Barclays Center, which will become the Islanders’ new home in two years.
The Isles were beaten 5-3 by the Flames in Calgary and 4-2 in Regina, Saskatchewan. They had their moments in both games, but largely struggled on the penalty kill and in net.
The Devils opened the preseason on Monday with a 2-1 win over the Rangers in Newark. Mattias Tedenby scored in the first period, and Eric Gelinas added a goal in the third for New Jersey.
Newly acquired goaltender Cory Schneider played two periods and made 22 saves.
Schneider, who was acquired in a stunning draft day trade from Vancouver, will likely be counted on heavily this season, considering Martin Brodeur is 41 and is coming off posting a .901 save percentage, his worst effort since an .882 mark over four games as a rookie in 1991.
Thursday’s 7 p.m. start will not be televised, but will be streamed on each team’s official website.
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