Islanders left wing Anders Lee and New Jersey Devils right...

Islanders left wing Anders Lee and New Jersey Devils right wing Timo Meier fight during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 24, 2024, in Elmont, New York. Credit: AP/Noah K. Murray

No harm, no additional foul.

So Anders Lee was on the ice for the Islanders’ practice on Tuesday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow with no further consequences from the NHL after receiving a five-minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing the Devils’ Nico Hischier in Sunday’s 4-0 loss at UBS Arena.

Hischier returned to the game and Lee, who has never been suspended and fined just once in his career, was somewhat surprised to see the play quickly deemed a dirty one with speculation about supplemental discipline.

“I felt the penalty on the ice was sufficient,” Lee said. “I was going in to try and get a poke check and get into Hischier there. And, by the end of it, he’s moving. I keep my lane and, I do, I get him. Completely unintentional and I’m glad to see he came back and played the rest of the game.

“As the result of the play, I think it got called appropriately. In full speed, it happens fast. He’s trying to avoid me at the same time and things happen.”

And there’s the gist. Lee plays a physically demanding, lightning-quick sport in real time. Us pundits (this writer included) have the benefit of multiple slowed-down replays.

Slowed down, Lee’s kneeing major looked bad.

Lee could accept the game misconduct and the Devils’ Timo Meier — who called it a “dirty hit” — sticking up for his teammate. But Lee’s conscience is clear otherwise. He knows he’s not a dirty player.

Islanders coach Patrick Roy, too, said Lee’s play was unintentional and then tried to do an imitation of former coach and broadcasting personality Don Cherry’s frequent message of, “Kids at home, if you’re moving away and you open up you could be seriously injured” as an explanation of Hischier’s movement.

The bigger point is that the Islanders, barely hanging on in the playoff race and in a 1-6-1 rut, could not afford to lose their captain, second-line left wing and net-front presence on their second power-play unit as they embark on a challenging three-game road trip that opens on Thursday against the playoff-bound Lightning.

The Islanders also face the Panthers, challenging to finish with the most points in the league, and the Flyers, who the Islanders are chasing in the Metropolitan Division.

“We need everybody,” Roy said. “It’s important that Anders is there. I never had a doubt in my mind that he would be suspended.”

Notes & quotes: Defenseman Scott Mayfield underwent season-ending surgery on the ankle he injured in the season’s first game on Oct. 14. The 31-year-old Mayfield, in the first season of a seven-year, $24.5 million deal, was hampered all season before finally being shut down on Feb. 24. He finished with five assists in 41 games. “He’s been carrying this for a while so I’m happy for him,” Roy said. “Now he can put this behind him and focus on next year and be ready to play.” The Islanders announced Mayfield is expected to have no delays to his summer workout routine and Roy said he would be ready for the start of September’s training camp.

More Islanders


FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.