The Islanders announced on Wednesday morning that fourth-line center Casey Cizikas will miss three-to-four weeks after suffering a laceration to his left leg during the first period of Tuesday night’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
While falling along the left boards, Cizikas became entangled with Flyers defenseman Ivan Provarov, whose skate blade cut the Islanders forward in the leg.
Cizikas was hurried off the ice and did not return to the game.
His absence now guts two-thirds of the Islanders’ fourth line, often regarded as the identity line. Cal Clutterbuck’s wrist was cut by the skate blade of Patrice Bergeron back in December.
A timetable for his return is still uncertain.
The 28-year-old Cizikas recorded 10 goals and four assists in 48 games this season off the heels of a career-best campaign in which he scored 20 goals in 2018-19.
In a corresponding roster move, the Islanders recalled Cole Bardreau from AHL Bridgeport.
Bardreau spent nine games with the Islanders earlier this season, posting a goal and an assist before being sent back down to Bridgeport.
He’ll likely step into fourth-line duties where he’ll be flanked by Leo Komarov and the last original fourth-liner Matt Martin.
“Listen, it’s kind of that next-man-up mentality,” Martin said. “Injuries are part of the game. Cal and Casey are guys you want to have in the lineup, but it doesn’t always work that way. We’ve just got to find ways to continue to get wins.”
“It’s really tough,” Komarov added. “He’s such a mainstay in our lineup that we’ve all got to step up and find a way to fill his shoes.”