Islanders close to full health with Noah Dobson, Hudson Fasching on the mend

The Islanders may have something close to a full stable of players in their first game back from the All-Star break.

Noah Dobson and Hudson Fasching, who both missed time with lower-body injuries as a result of the break, participated in Sunday’s practice before the team left for Philadelphia. Coach Lane Lambert, though, didn’t fully commit to playing either, and Fasching rotated with Ross Johnston on the fourth line in practice.

“I’m optimistic,” Lambert said. “I thought Dober looked good today. Fashing, we’ll judge that as much as we hear how they both feel.

The Islanders also recalled Simon Holmstrom and Samuel Bolduc from the AHL’s Bridgeport, where both had spent time off. Sending them down was more likely to get them playing time and save money against the salary cap with the Islanders on vacation.

Noah Dobson
Noah Dobson missed time heading into the All-Star break.
USA Today Sports

Hudson Fishing
Hudson Fasching practically spun on the fourth line.
USA Today Sports

Holmstrom kept his spot on the third line with Zach Parise and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The second line of Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri also remained intact. Matthew Barzel played wing on the first line, with new acquisition Bo Horvat centering him and Josh Bailey. Casey Cizikas, who was on Barzel’s wing before the break, moved back to the fourth line to skate with Matt Martin while Fasching and Johnston rotated to the second spot.

Cal Clutterbuck and Oliver Wahlstrom, both on indefinite injured reserve, are expected to be long-term ends.

Defenseman Alexander Romanov skated with a full face shield on Sunday. In the Isles’ final game before the break, he was hit in the face by a Phil Castle shot and bled from the mouth, though he eventually returned to action.

“It will be a period of time [he’ll wear it[ for sure,” Lambert said. “I thought he looked really good today and I don’t think it impedes him whatsoever, so it’s good to see.”

Dobson skated atop the first power-play unit, another indication he could be ready to go for Monday, with Horvat in the bumper spot. Pageau, who had been there prior, went down to the second unit.

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