Islanders projected lines vs. Penguins: Kieffer Bellows draws in? (Updated)

St Louis Blues v New York Islanders
St Louis Blues v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It's the second leg of a home-and-home between the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins. A big takeaway from the game - outside of the Isles win - was how it felt like a playoff atmosphere.

The Penguins needed a regulation win to book their ticket to the postseason and pressed hard for it. While the Isles wanted to play spoiler against a hated rival. Both were playing for something and the crowd was feeding off of it.

Trotz wanted to make a change to the lineup for that game on Tuesday but with Kieffer Bellows having to pull out with an illness, Wahlstrom stayed in. And he did not do well. He was benched for the entire third period. So with two days since Bellows had to step out, does he step in?

New York Islanders projected lineup against Penguins: Bellows time?

I have to imagine that if Bellows is healthy he's in the lineup. No question. Again, Barry wanted to put Bellows in the lineup on Tuesday but couldn't. And it's not like Wahlstrom did something to force Trotz to keep him in the lineup.

The only why Wahlstrom stays in is if Bellows still isn't good to go.

The goalie rotation might continue. Sorokin was in net for Tuesday's game so Varlamov will likely be in today in Pittsburgh. This is also the first leg of a back-to-back. The Islanders are in Montreal tomorrow to face the Canadiens. So sticking with the rotation today and tomorrow makes sense.

But outside of these two changes can you honestly see Barry moving anything else around? Since March 29, the Isles have gone 6-2-0 with most of those games being played on the road (only two were played at UBS).

So again, does Barry make any other change tot he lineup outside of a scripted goalie swap and putting in the guy he wanted to use two days ago but couldn't? No.

Islanders Projected Lineup


Varlamov (Sorokin)


Shortly after publishing, it was announced that Ilya Sorokin would play and the Kieffer Bellows would be in the lineup.

Clearly, that means Bellows is healthy again. For Sorokin; he played well on Tuesday so why not keep the hot hand against the same opponent rather than going with a rigid switching strategy? Varlamov will get his playing time. As Trotz stated on Monday both goalies will get "multiple games in a row" (subscription required).