With their opening-round series against the Caps now a best of three, the Islanders look like they’ll get a key lineup piece back for Game 5.
Mikhail Grabovski, who’s missed the final 24 regular-season and all four playoff games with a concussion, declared himself fit to return on Wednesday, one day after the Caps won Game 4 2-1 in OT, evening up the series at two games apiece.
“I feel good right now,” Grabovski said, per NHL.com. “I’ve had a good three months of skating. I don’t know exactly what the decision is. Personally, I’m ready to go, but they need to talk to doctors and the coach, all together about me.”
Isles head coach Jack Capuano hinted that lineup changes will be coming after Tuesday’s loss, and it’s likely that Grabovski will be one of them. The 31-year-old had nine goals and 10 assists in 51 games this year and, the last time he appeared in the playoffs, averaged over 19 minutes a night for Toronto during its opening-round loss to the Bruins in ’13.
“There’s a real good chance,” Capuano said of Grabovski playing in Game 5. “We’ve got some decisions to make. Does he play in the middle or does he play wing? Those are decisions that we have to sit down this afternoon and go over.
“You’ll probably see some changes in our lineup.”