JG Pageau Looks Ready to Go for the NY Islanders in Game 2

New York Islanders v Florida Panthers
New York Islanders v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

During the NY Islanders' Game 1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the team had one glaring hole in their lineup who appeared in all 82 regular season games. JG Pageau suffered a lower-body injury in Game 82 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, keeping him out of Game 1. Kyle MacLean slid up to the third line while Simon Holmstrom centered the fourth line between Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck.

Pageau was present for the pre-game skate today, centering Anders Lee and Pierre Engvall. Holmstrom moved up to the second line with Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri.

Without Pageau in the lineup, the Islanders were without a right-handed centerman and their best top face-off threat. The Islanders struggled in the faceoff dot in Game 1, winning only 41% of draws.

"Like you guys saw this morning, he was doing pretty much everything," said Islanders Head Coach Patrick Roy, according to Stefan Rosner of The Hockey News. If he still feels good in the warmups, he'll play."

Statistically, Pageau had one of his least effective seasons as an Islander. He finished the year with 11 goals and 22 assists, seven fewer points than his 2022-23 season, despite playing 12 more games.

While his regular season numbers weren't spectacular, Pageau typically steps his game up in the playoffs. Along with his postseason resume, Pageau is arguably the Islanders' most effective penalty killer and plays on the second power play unit. Special teams are a point of emphasis for the Islanders this series, as they're near the bottom of the league standing short-handed and on the man advantage, while the Hurricanes are tops on the penalty kill and second on the power play.

The Islanders will look to send the series back to Long Island tied up and Pageau will be a key contributor in making that happen if he's ready to go by 7:30 tonight.