The New York Islanders won Game 1, but may have lost Johnny Boychuk in the process as he left in the second period.
It was a physical matchup between the Islanders and Panthers as the two teams combined for 62 hits. Unfortunately, during the process, Johnny Boychuk got beat up in this game and was forced to leave in the second period.
1:29 into the game, Boychuk went down hard. It led to a four-on-four and he very gingerly got back up and he even headed to the room briefly in that period.
Boychuk would return and early in the second period, he would take another big (dirty) hit from Mike Matheson at the 2:44 mark of the second period.
Matheson clearly went up high on Boychuk. Originally, the call was a major penalty but after review, they reduced it to a two-minute minor. Anthony Beauvillier would give the Islanders a two-goal lead but the damage was already done.
Boychuk left the game and did not return. At this time we don’t have an update on his status going forward but he was limited to just 5:17 of ice time for the Isles today.
If Boychuk isn’t able to go for Game 2, Tuesday at 12:00 pm, then the Islanders have two options that they could go with. Andy Greene is a veteran, who they brought in at the deadline, and has a ton of playoff experience with 50 games under his belt.
The other option is Noah Dobson. The 20-year-old looked solid in the tune-up game on Wednesday night against the Rangers. He played in 34 games during the regular season with seven points and averaged 13:17 of ice time per game.
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We’ll take a look at Boychuk over the next few days to see if he’ll be able to go, if not the Islanders have two solid options waiting in the wings.