Isles’ Grabner out because of impending birth

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.