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Islanders injury updates: Latest on Brock Nelson, Simon Holmstrom, Casey Cizikas, more

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Islanders Blackhawks Nelson Clutterbuck
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks with right wing Cal Clutterbuck during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

Out of the holiday break, the Islanders are dealing with the injury bug more than a Christmas hangover — and the status of numerous forwards remains very much in the air. 

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It is believed that both Casey Cizikas and Brock Nelson are good to go against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night after they participated in the team’s optional morning skate — though head coach Lane Lambert labeled them as game-time decisions. 

Cizikas, however, might have let the cat slip out of the bag.

“I feel good now. I think these past few days gave me time to get my body right and get myself right and be able to feel good enough where I don’t feel like I’m putting the team disadvantage,” Cizikas said. “So I felt good out there today and looking forward to [Tuesday night].”

Cizikas was practicing in a wing spot on the third line — a position he hasn’t played much throughout his NHL career. 

“It’s definitely going to be different starting at wing,” Cizikas, the long-time fourth-line center said. “It’s definitely going to be different… It’s going to be fun.”

The veteran forward was back on the ice after missing Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers. He suffered an injury that was described as day-to-day by Lambert during the second period of Thursday’s loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. 

After getting hit in the head by an Alexander Romanov clear midway through the second period of Friday’s victory over the Panthers, Nelson was also with the Islanders during their optional morning skate Tuesday ahead of their matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“It was just a weird play, kind of caught me off guard,” Nelson said. “I feel good now. A little disoriented right away, but a couple stitches and a couple days of rest was nice.” 

Rookie forward Simon Holmstrom, who received a knee-to-knee hit by Panthers forward Sam Bennett in the final seconds of that very same second period, was not with the team Tuesday morning. Fourth-line winger Cal Clutterbuck and top-six forward Kyle Palmieri, placed on injured reserve last week with an upper-body injury, also did not participate in morning skate. 

Both were eligible to be activated from IR for Tuesday night’s game against the Penguins. 

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For more on the Islanders, visit AMNY.com