The New York Islanders kick off 2024 later tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, and following the morning skate, it appears there will be some changes to the lineup to start the year.
Following being a healthy scratch on Sunday night vs. Pittsburgh, Pierre Engvall will draw back into the lineup in his usual spot alongside Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri. Meanwhile, Hudson Fasching, who skated on the second line, will shift back to the fourth line with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck. Forward Matt Martin, who had played in two straight games after being out of the lineup with an upper-body injury, was skating with Oliver Wahlstrom as the extras.
As for defense, as the Islanders are getting healthier, decisions will need to be made on a nightly basis now that head coach Lane Lambert has more options with the return of Scott Mayfield. In their prior game, Robert Bortuzzo was a healthy scratch, but it appears that the veteran RHD will skate alongside Samuel Bolduc, who scored his first goal of the season on New Year's Eve.
Semyon Varlamov, who had to take a couple of maintenance days last week, was the first goalie off and expected to get the start. Alexandar Georgiev is expected to get the start for the Avs. The former Ranger is 5-1-1 with a .909 SV% and 2.42 GAA over his past seven starts. For his career, he owns a .931 SV% and 2.11 GAA against over 14 career starts vs. the Isles.