The New York Islanders took down the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, due in large part to the depth forwards. While Casey Cizikas and Josh Bailey played critical roles in the 3-2 outcome, Hudson Fasching was superb.
The 27-year-old ended his night with a goal and an assist in 13:58 minutes. He also had a takeaway and two blocks.
His goal, the eventual game-winner with 12:23 to play in the third, did go off his knee, but after review, it was deemed a good goal. And it was likely the biggest goal of Fasching’s career up to this point, given how critical these games are.
CALL OVERTURNED. 📹
After video review, Hudson Fasching gets his fourth of the season to put the Islanders up in the third period. pic.twitter.com/ULvpGDgLcE
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 8, 2023
“It feels great,” Fasching said. “Obviously, you just want to contribute, try to help the team win games. Obviously, it’s a big game. So it feels awesome.”
With the Islanders in need of an equalizer during the second period, Fasching found Cizikas at the doorstep with 12:38 to play in the middle frame.
Fasching sets it up. CIZIKAS NETS IT. pic.twitter.com/Ch3amGNdeP
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 8, 2023
“He finds me there,” Cizikas said. “We had a plan going into the game, and like I said, down low, he makes really good plays. He’s a big body, protects the puck well. He makes those types of plays look easy. So once again, that was a hell of a pass by him.”
Since Cal Clutterbuck has gone down, Fasching has, more often than not, played alongside Cizikas. The two have indeed shown off some chemistry, playing a north-south game.
NYI Hockey Now asked Cizikas what’s been the key to their strong play alongside one another.
“It’s honesty. I think that’s the biggest thing,” Cizikas said. “We’re continuously talking, good things and bad things. And that’s the biggest thing. You don’t take it personally. You take the information, and you build on it, and you get better, and I think that’s the biggest thing.
“We’ve played well together, we’ve created some good chemistry, and going forward, we’re going to continue trying to do that.”
Everyone at the NHL level has to work to get there, but for Fasching’s teammates, they are incredibly proud of what he’s been able to do this season.
“He’s worked for everything he’s gotten this year,” Cizikas said. “And he’s continued to put in that work day in and day out, and he’s done everything that the coaches asked of him, and like I said, that comes from hard work on and off the ice, and he’s fun to play with.”
Islanders captain Anders Lee had the line of the night.
“He works extremely hard. And he’s worked really hard to be here and stay in the lineup and compete every night and make a difference every night, and there’s a reason why he’s playing such great hockey and made a stamp on our team this season,” Lee said.
Over Zach Parise’s 18-year NHL career, he’s been a player that has just gone to work each shift. Albeit a much shorter NHL sample size, Fasching has had to use that mindset to stick at the NHL level.
“I thought that line was very good tonight,” Parise said. “[They] gave us a big spark in the second and then they were buzzing around there the second half of the game, so it’s good to see him get rewarded. He’s been playing really well for us.”:
While Fasching’s teammates are happy to see him get rewarded for his hard work, it’s rewarding for his head coach Lane Lambert to see his hard work come to fruition this season.
“Well, it makes me feel great,” Lambert said. “You like the guys, and all our guys work. They come to work every day, and they practice hard. And whoever it might be, we’re happy for them, and the guys are all happy for each other.
“So, Hudson is having a good run here. And he’s doing it by just being committed to coming to work every day.”
Hudson Fasching has four goals and six assists in 33 games, with a goal and two assists over his last three games.
Although a contract extension is not something that needs to get done right this second, Fasching is “100 percent” interested.