Isles' Cal Clutterbuck plays Friday

Cal Clutterbuck made his New York Islanders debut Friday night against the host Chicago Blackhawks.

The gritty 25-year-old winger suffered a leg laceration during the preseason that was expected to sideline him for up to six weeks.

Fortunately for the Islanders, Clutterbuck was ahead of schedule. He was activated off injured reserve Wednesday.

Clutterbuck was acquired by the Islanders from the Minnesota Wild in a draft-day trade in exchange for prospect Nino Niederreiter, whose relationship with the organization had become strained.

The addition of Clutterbuck's grit and physicality could be a huge plus for the Islanders as they take on the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Blackhawks are coming off two straight losses and gave starting goaltender Corey Crawford the night off to regroup. Nikolai Khabibulin started instead.

Matt Moulson played after being a game-time decision. The 29-year-old forward traveled to Chicago separately following the birth of his second child.