Tavares scored two goals during Saturday's loss to Carolina.
The star pivot has five goals on eight shots through his past two games and is up to 16 tallies, 32 points and 123 shots over 41 games for the year. It's not the offensive production we've become accustomed to seeing from Tavares, but perhaps this is the beginning of a strong stretch.
Tavares had quite the night Friday, recording a hat trick and reaching 500 career points in a 5-2 win over the Panthers on the road.
The Islanders captain is actually at 501 points now, as he drove in an empty-netter to complete his first hatty of the season and sixth since joining the league in 2009-10. As theScore cleverly points out, Tavares is now averaging .91 points per game in his illustrious career, matching the number on his sweater (without the decimal, of course).
Tavares practiced Thursday and will play Friday versus the Sabres, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
Tavares was given what the team termed a maintenance day Thursday which fueled speculation that the star player may be dealing with an injury. Apparently a day was all he needed as he will return to center the top line Friday. Tavares is having a subpar season and part of the reason is because of the revolving wings he is forced to play with. The Islanders have tried just about everyone on the roster on one of his wings but have found the chemistry to be lacking. This may be a lost season not only for the Islanders, but for Tavares as well.
Tavares was given a day off Wednesday and didn't practice, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
Although there is no official word from the Islanders, and he didn't miss any ice time, Tavares did appear to hurt his hand or wrist during the game Tuesday. The Islanders also called up Stephen Gionta which could be a signal that the team is worried that Tavares won't be able to play Friday. Tavares hasn't had the season expected of him with only nine goals and has now gone five games without lighting the lamp.
Tavares has gone cold as part of the Isles' current five-game losing streak. It's not all his fault, as just about every offensive player on the team is also slumping. Tavares will have to pick up his play considerably in order to clear the 30-goal mark for a third straight season; he's also currently on pace to fall 10 points short of last year's 70.