The surprising New York Islanders are starting the second half on a down note as top-line forward Kyle Okposo will be sidelined six to eight weeks because of an undisclosed upper-body injury.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano delivered the news Monday after the first practice following the NHL All-Star break. Okposo, who played in New York’s first 46 games this season, is second on the club with 44 points — one fewer than All-Star John Tavares. He has 14 goals, including four against Pittsburgh on Jan. 16.
Okposo played three days later against Philadelphia and practiced with the club last Tuesday before the break.
"I kind of had an idea before the break, but it definitely comes as a shock," Capuano said Monday. "Kyle’s play is dictating how we go and the pace we play with."
The Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders (31-14-1) are scheduled to host the New York Rangers, weather permitting, on Tuesday night.
Bobrovsky expected to miss 4-6 weeks
The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 21 and said the former Vezina Trophy winner will be out the next four to six weeks with a groin injury.
The club also recalled forward Josh Anderson and added goaltender Anton Forsberg to the roster on emergency recall from its American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Bobrovsky was selected to play in his first NHL All-Star game prior to the injury. He has a 16-15-2 record with a 2.85 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and one shutout in 33 games this season.
Anderson has not recorded a point in four games this season. Forsberg, who has appeared in two games for Columbus this season, will back up Curtis McElhinney.
Avs' Johnson sidelined 3-to-8 weeks
The Colorado Avalanche will be without top defenceman Erik Johnson for three to eight weeks due to a knee injury.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said the team received the update on Johnson after he had a scope Monday. Roy was "disappointed by the situation," but added that he has a "lot of confidence in our group."
Johnson made the All-Star team, but didn't play in the game over the weekend. The 26-year-old has a career-high 12 goals this season.
Colorado has some work to do to climb back into playoff contention, beginning Tuesday night in Nashville. The team is currently 10th in the Western Conference and three points out of the last playoff spot.