New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal will skate with the team this weekend and is getting closer to a return from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him since mid-February, general manager Lou Lamoriello said Saturday.
The Islanders (39-29-9, 87 points) have five games remaining in the regular season after including Saturday's 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. New York currently holds the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Florida Panthers and three ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Barzal, 25, has been out since taking a hit from Boston Bruins forward Craig Smith on Feb. 18. He is second on the team with 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists) in 58 games this season.
He signed an eight-year contract in October worth $73.2 million, with an average annual value of $9.15 million.
Lamoriello also announced Saturday that forward Oliver Wahlstrom is done for the season with a lower-body injury. Wahlstrom, who hasn't played since Dec. 27, finishes with 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 35 games.