3 NY Islanders line combinations to consider with Casey Cizikas sidelined

What can Lane Lambert experiment with to spark the team's offense?

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Option 1: Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri

The captain started the season without a defined role outside of providing leadership on and off the ice. Last season, Lee predominantly played alongside Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier on the Isles second line, which seemed to be the only line producing before the trade deadline. Following the departure of Beauvillier to the Vancouver Canucks for Horvat, Lou Lamoriello acquired Pierre Engvall from the Toronto Maple Leafs to accommodate the winger's production. However, Barzal would miss the remainder of the regular season, leaving every line a game-time decision.

The idea behind Engvall's 7-year contract was that he would play alongside Nelson and Kyle Palmieri, meaning Lee would be moved to either the top or third line. Lambert experimented with Lee on the third line with J.G. Pageau until Holmstrom found a niche in this role. Afterward, Lee was moved back to the top line, which produced mixed results. After a brilliant offensive month in December, Lee has cooled off, only scoring 2 points in the last six games including a -5 rating in the last five.

Lee should switch roles and play on the Isles' second line. Engvall's production has been anemic this season, producing just 5 goals and 9 assists through 40 games. He is now pointless in his last six games, which has led to a drop in production from Nelson and Palmieri as well. Nelson is a player who can both score with a wrist shot and on the wrap-around, while Palmieri has a heavy slap shot. Given their offensive profiles, Lee's strength of deflecting shots toward the net would help increase their production.