NEWARK, N.J. - New York Islanders goal leader Michael Grabner is sitting out against the New Jersey Devils because of the impending birth of a baby with his girlfriend.
Grabner, who has 31 goals in his rookie NHL season, was scratched from the lineup shortly before Wednesday night's game. He was replaced by Trevor Gillies, who is playing for the first time since serving a 10-game league suspension.
Gillies played only four shifts on March 2 in his first game following a nine-game ban by the NHL for his role in New York's fight-filled win over Pittsburgh on Feb. 11. He was suspended a second time for hitting Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck from behind early in the second period.
Gillies, who has one goal, no assists, and 124 penalty minutes in 33 games this season, was eligible to return Saturday against Philadelphia but was held out by coach Jack Capuano.