New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal is getting closer to a return from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him since mid-February.
General manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters that Barzal would skate with the team Saturday or Sunday.
The Islanders (39-28-9, 87 points) have six games remaining in the regular season, starting with Saturday’s contest against the host Tampa Bay Lightning.
New York currently holds the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Barzal, 25, has been out since taking a hit from Boston Bruins forward Craig Smith in a 6-2 loss on Feb. 18. He is second on the team with 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists) in 58 games this season.
Barzal signed an eight-year contract in October worth $73.2 million, with an average annual value of $9.15 million.
Lamoriello also announced Saturday that forward Oliver Wahlstrom is done for the season with a lower-body injury. Out since Dec. 27, he finishes the campaign with 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 35 games.
–Field Level Media