New York Islanders first-line center Bo Horvat did not practice on Monday morning after suffering what appeared to be a left ankle injury during Saturday night’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Head coach Lane Lambert labeled him as day-to-day and he’ll be re-evaluated on Tuesday prior to their meeting with the Minnesota Wild at UBS Arena.
The 28-year-old suffered the injury midway through the third period when he took a Brady Skjei slapshot off the area. He went down the tunnel to get checked out but managed to return to the game.
Mathew Barzal, who has already played left and right-wing this season on the first line, returned to his natural center position at practice. He spent the first six-plus years of his career at the position before switching over to win upon Horvat’s arrival.
“I know if a guy gets hurt I might have to fill in,” Barzal said. “Obviously I’d feel pretty comfortable [if I had to play there].”
Horvat’s injury adds a prominent forward to a list that has predominantly been sequestered to the blue line. Scott Mayfield, who missed seven games with a foot injury, did not skate on Monday, too, after getting shaken up on Saturday. Lambert said his absence was a maintenance day.
Adam Pelech, who is dealing with a mid-body injury suffered against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, did return to the ice, however.
“I thought he was OK,” Lambert said of Pelech. “We’ll see how he is after practice moving forward.”
In 10 games, Horvat has four goals and five assists (nine points) in what is his first full season with the Islanders after being acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in January. He signed an eight-year, $68 million contract on Feb. 5, scoring seven of his career-best 38 goals following the move to New York.