NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This is a joke, right?
The Islanders must be thinking they wronged someone because they keep losing players to injury. The latest is young power forward Anders Lee.
Lee left Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden with a lower-body injury, that was confirmed by the team on Friday to be a broken left fibula. The injury is just the latest to hit the club, which is heading to the playoffs on a roll but with serious health concerns.
Lee was attempting to screen Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist during the first period when Johnny Boychuk’s rocket slapshot caught him flush on the left leg. It wasn’t immediately known if the young power forward would need surgery.
Though Lee, who has 15 goals and 36 points, had not produced as many goals this season as he did during his breakout 2014-15 campaign, he had played well over the last few weeks, becoming more of the net presence the Islanders have needed.
The injury is yet another blow to the Islanders, who have played spirited hockey down the stretch, winning six of their last seven to grab third place in the Metropolitan Division. New York is hoping to get top defenseman Travis Hamonic (knee) and clutch fourth-liners Cal Clutterbuck (undisclosed) and Matt Martin (upper body) back before the playoffs begin next week. The Isles are also without starting goalie Jaroslav Halak (groin), who could return if the team advances past the first round, depth defenseman Brian Strait, backup goalie J.F. Berube and young defenseman Adam Pelech.
The Islanders have two regular season games remaining, at home against Buffalo on Saturday and against visiting Philadelphia on Sunday. Having clinched no worse than seventh place in the Eastern Conference, expect head coach Jack Capuano to take a cautious approach to his roster over the weekend.