The NY Islanders are getting healthier. Late on Tuesday night, the Islanders announced that center J.G. Pageau has been activated off injured reserve and returns to the lineup and is suiting up to play against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
Pageau has been out of game action for just over a month after he was injured on February 11th against the Montreal Canadiens. Although undisclosed, Pageau's injury was labeled as an upper-body injury that held him out for 12 games. The Islanders went 7-3-2 in his absence, recording 34 goals while allowing 32.
Pageau this season has registered 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points. He serves between the first and second power play units, but with Bo Horvat now in the picture, he mostly serves in the latter. Pageau plays on the opposite end of the special teams unit too, working as one of the best, if not the best penalty killer on the Islanders. Perhaps Pageau's most missed quality is his ability to win faceoffs as he's won 56.5% of draws this season, second to Horvat.
Upon his return, Pageau slots back into his usual third-line role and is between the newly acquired Pierre Engvall and Hudson Fasching. The trio makes for quite the defensive line that can shut down opponents in their own end, while their speed also allows them to push play to the other end of the ice.
The Islanders are finally approaching full health after Cal Clutterbuck was reinstated just a game ago, and it couldn't come at a better time as they're making a push to remain in playoff position. Pageau was just one of two crucial returns as the Islanders are still awaiting on a timeline for Mathew Barzal to get back into game action. Unfortunately for the Islanders, he has yet to begin skating with the team.
With Pageau's return, Simon Holmstrom becomes the odd man out. as he was healthy scratched on Tuesday night.