To say Alexander Romanov was over-excited to make his preseason debut after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery was an understatement.
The Islanders’ physical defenseman did not dress for the Islanders’ first two preseason games as the team was cautious in his exposure. He was also held out of the team’s first scrimmage this week before participating in the next two.
But in the Islanders’ 5-3 win over the Rangers on Saturday night at UBS Arena he logged 21:06 – just seven seconds less than defense partner Ryan Pulock for the team high – with four shots on net, five attempts blocked and one missed shot. He also was credited with a team-high four hits while blocking three shots.
“I thought he was really good,” coach Lane Lambert said. “He had a great gap. He played hard. He moved the puck pretty well. He put pucks to the net. Just his energy alone was uplifting.”
C Kyle MacLean, 24, is not a likely candidate to make the Islanders’ opening-night roster, but given the chance to skate on the fourth line with Cal Clutterbuck and Ross Johnston, he continued his strong training camp with a solid performance.
MacLean logged 11:07 with two shots and set up Clutterbuck’s goal at 10:44 of the second period with a quick pass from behind the net.
“I’m just playing my game,” said MacLean, an undrafted free agent entering his fourth season in the organization after compiling 11 goals and 16 assists in 67 games for the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport last season. “I keep it simple. That’s the message from the coaches. Keep it simple, keep my legs moving. When I play like that I am effective.”
MacLean is the son of Islanders assistant coach John MacLean, who played 19 NHL seasons.
“I like his mind,” Lambert said. “I think he’s extremely intelligent.”