It took a couple of injuries, but now a team battling for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings finally has its second player headed for the All-Star Game.

Joining John Tavares for the festivities next weekend in Columbus, Ohio, will be Islanders’ goalie Jaroslav Halak, who got the belated invitation on Thursday after injuries to Jimmy Howard and Pekka Rinne officially ruled them out.

“You don’t want to see somebody else get injured,” Halak said, “but it’s going to be really a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to it.”

It will be the first All-Star Game for the 29-year-old Slovakian, playing in his first season with the Islanders. It was a bit of a risk for him to sign, as general manager Garth Snow traded a fourth-round pick to the Capitals over the summer for his negotiating rights, then locked him up with a four-year, $18 million deal.

After a bit of a shaky start, Halak has settled down, carrying a 23-8-0 record, along with impressive 2.22 goals-against average and .917 save percentage, into Friday night’s Coliseum match with the Penguins.

“I always say everything happens for some reason,” Halak said. “Before I signed, I knew we had some really young guys, some good guys here. Picking up [defensemen] Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk [in trades] before the season, it was a really good thing for our team. It’s been a lot of fun so far, but we have a lot of work to do.”

Halak is the first Islanders goalie to make an All-Star team since — wait for it — Rick DiPietro in 2007-08. Of course, DiPietro’s career was then derailed by injuries, and he’s now a commentator on sports-talk radio.