NEW YORK — The Golden Knights kept the bubble wrap on Paul Stastny.
The center was not activated from injured reserve for Wednesday’s game against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center.
“(The trainers) tell me when it’s good,” coach Gerard Gallant said after a 3-2 victory. “Our team’s played good the last game before that, so we just sit down and make a decision amongst ourselves. But he’s ready to go.”
Stastny suffered a lower-body injury Oct. 8 at Buffalo when Sabres forward Jack Eichel slammed into his right knee late and has missed the past 30 games.
Stastny wore a noncontact jersey during practice last week and was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice in Brooklyn, taking line rushes with Ryan Carpenter, Oscar Lindberg and Tomas Nosek.
He also joined the Knights’ optional skate Wednesday and stayed on the ice late with scratches Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill and backup goaltender Malcolm Subban.
The Knights continue their four-game road trip Friday against New Jersey.
The last time Barry Trotz opposed the Knights, he was lifting the Stanley Cup following Washington’s Game 5 victory in June.
But the Islanders’ first-year coach wasn’t feeling sentimental after his team’s morning skate Wednesday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow, New York, and said there wouldn’t be any extra emotions facing the Knights.
“I have been watching them,” Trotz said. “Both Washington and Vegas are playing like the two teams that played in the Final last year. They’re playing that type of hockey you expect Vegas to play. They’re a big team that skates very well. They check very well. They take the puck to the net. They create chaos around the crease all the time because of the big bodies. That hasn’t changed.”
Defenseman Brayden McNabb is the only player in the league with at least 60 blocked shots and 70 hits.
McNabb recorded 61 blocked shots and 77 hits through the first 32 games after posting career highs in those categories last season (176 blocked shots and 225 hits).
He was the only player who recorded at least 170 blocked shots and 220 hits.
Knights majority owner Bill Foley will sign copies of the team’s “VGK Inaugural Season Book” from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Dec. 21 at City National Arena.
The book will be available for purchase during the event and retails for $59.99.