Islanders close to full health amid Noah Dobson, Hudson Fasching return

The Islanders might 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 leading into the break, participated in Sunday’s practice before the team left for Philadelphia. Coach Lane Lambert, though, did not fully commit to either playing, and Fasching rotated with Ross Johnston on the fourth line in practice.

“I’m hopeful,” Lambert said. “I thought Dobber looked good today. Fasching, we’ll make a decision on him the more we hear about how both of them feel.”

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

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

Hudson Fasching
Hudson Fasching rotated on the fourth line in practice.

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 stayed intact. Mathew Barzal played the wing on the first line, with new acquisition Bo Horvat centering him and Josh Bailey. Casey Cizikas, who had been on Barzal’s wing ahead of the break, went back to the fourth line to skate with Matt Martin while Fasching and Johnston rotated in the other spot.

Cal Clutterbuck and Oliver Wahlstrom, both of whom are on injured reserve with indefinite timetables, are expected to be out long term.

Defenseman Alexander Romanov skated Sunday with a full face shield. In the Isles’ last game before the break, he took a puck to the face from a Phil Kessel shot and bled from the mouth, though he eventually returned to action.

“It’ll 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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