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Mayfield & Fasching Produce In Return To Islanders Lineup

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Washington, D.C.– It can take a player a while to settle in once they return to the ice after being forced to miss an extended period of time. However, Scott Mayfield didn’t have much of a choice during his first game back in the New York Islanders lineup last night.

Midway through the first period, just as it seemed Mayfield was getting his bearings, Adam Pelech left the game clutching his midsection and did not return, forcing the Islanders to play much of the night with only five defensemen.

Even with it being his first game in nearly three weeks, Mayfield was up to the task, helping the Islanders to a perfect three-for-three night on the penalty kill and a shutout win over the Washington Capitals.

I liked his game,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “I thought he was very good. He was solid defensively with a big, long stick. He helped turn pucks over and was strong on the penalty kill.” 

Mayfield also picked up his first point of the season, assisting on Brock Nelson‘s goal at 11:15 into the second period.

Thursday night’s game against Washington was Mayfield’s first since suffering a lower-body injury in the Islanders’ opening night win on Oct. 14. Mayfield had been gradually working his way back while listed as day-to-day over the course of the last seven games.

“There’s a lot that goes into the rehab process,” Mayfield said. “The trainers do a great job, and everything is good now. I’m just happy to be back.” 

Hudson Fasching also made his first appearance in quite some time for the Islanders last night. Although, unlike Mayfield, there wasn’t any injury holding Fasching back.

A healthy scratch in each of the last five games, Faching’s performance early this season left much more to be desired. Being relegated to watch from above seemed to get through to him, as he looked much more like the reliable player he was all through last season on Thursday.

“I tried to forecheck hard,” Fasching said. “I tried to disrupt some pucks by not letting them have a lot of time with the puck in the offensive zone and keeping my feet moving in there. I think it helps me get to my game as well.”

Fasching collected his first point of the season by setting up his linemate Simon Holmstrom for a goal. Back next to Holmstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Fasching’s return to the lineup may finally give the Islanders the stability they’ve sought on the third line.

The trio proved to be a winning one for the Islanders, at least for last night. If that doesn’t stay the case, either of them or anyone else for that matter, will surely have to work their way back into the lineup.

“For me, it’s if I think I can help the team win, I’m going to tell coach I’m ready,” Mayfield said. “If I think I’m a liability, I tell him I’m not. It is what it is. It sucks sitting out, but I’m happy I’m out there now.”

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