Ruslan Iskhakov an Option for NY Islanders in Game 3

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NY Islanders were back on the ice today for practice before Game 3, after having the day off yesterday. As the team took the ice, one regular was missing from the group. Matt Martin has been listed as day-to-day and missed practice due to maintenance.

Skating in his place was Ruslan Iskhakov alongside Kyle MacLean and Cal Clutterbuck. The 23-year-old Moscow native made his NHL debut one week ago in Game 82 of the regular season. Being that the Islanders had already locked in their position of third place in the Metro Division, it was a difficult game to evaluate the B-Isles' leading scorer.

Despite the circumstances, Iskhakov recorded his first NHL point on a third period goal from Samuel Bolduc. He played 14:11 in the win, recording two shots on goal.

Standing at 5'8" and 165 lbs, Iskhakov isn't your prototypical fourth line player. He plays a top-6 style and doesn't engage much in the physical aspect of the game. Though not the fastest player, he is quick and improves the fourth line's element of speed alongside MacLean.

One thing Iskhakov does provide is skill. He's a fantastic puck-handler and passer, and depending on the flow of the game could always be elevated into the top-6 - a role he's much more familiar with. With it appearing as if Hudson Fasching will slot into the second line wing alongside Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri, in place of Simon Holmstrom, Fasching and Iskhakov could be an easy switch on paper.

Iskhakov lacks NHL experience and more notably playoff experience. In his debut, he went to ground easily and could now find himself in a much more physical atmosphere.

Though it's not technically his NHL debut, Game 3 would be the first game of meaning Iskhakov participates in. The last time an Islander made his NHL debut in the playoffs was a 21-year-old Brock Nelson in Game 6 of the 2013 first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins.