The Islanders will be without their captain and leading scorer tonight when they take on the Devils, as John Tavares sits his third consecutive game with an illness.
Tavares, who was a late scratch from Saturday’s shootout loss to the Devils, sat out both games over the weekend — New York lost 2-1 to Buffalo on Sunday — which caught the attention of pundits league-wide.
After Isles head coach Jack Capuano said Tavares wasn’t “doing well,” speculation turned to a potentially serious illness being in play.
That notion was promptly shot down by Newsday’s Arthur Staple:
Fears were further alleviated when Tavares participated Tuesday’s morning skate, with the extras.
Nielsen has taken full advantage of the No. 1 pivot opportunity by scoring a goal, firing six shots on net and averaging nearly 20 minutes per game with Tavares sidelined.