Noah Dobson missed his sixth straight game on Thursday night as the Islanders faced the Bruins and will also sit out the next two games in Pittsburgh after being cleared off the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Wednesday.
But coach Barry Trotz, while confirming the defenseman tested positive, said he was hopeful Dobson would be available to return after this road trip.
“He didn’t have massive symptoms,” Trotz said. “He was pretty well symptom-free, for the most part. We’ll go through all the protocols of doing the EKGs, all the things that you do. Then you slowly ramp him up, following all the protocols. Get him on ice then and get the heart ramped up over the course of protocols and get him ready to play.
“Hopefully, he’ll be very close to being ready to go when we get back from this trip.”
The Islanders face the Capitals at Nassau Coliseum next Thursday.
The Bruins hosted fans at 12% of capacity at TD Garden for the first time this season. While the crowd was clearly partisan, Islanders center Brock Nelson said it was always a welcome sight to have any fans back in the arenas.
“It’s always nice to have people in the building,” Nelson said. “You get that energy, that buzz. Obviously, it favors Boston a bit. But you can still feed off of it, use it as motivation or some sort of adrenaline boost.”
The Islanders announced Nickelodeon, the youth-themed cable network, would provide exclusive content on the team’s social media platforms and in-game presentation on April 3. The Islanders face the Flyers at the Coliseum that night…Trotz stuck with the same 18 skaters for the third straight game with defenseman Sebastian Aho, Ross Johnston and goalie Cory Schneider remaining the healthy scratches.