Derick Brassard played wing sparingly last season during his frustrating odyssey from the Penguins to the Panthers to the Avalanche.
But the natural center certainly looked comfortable on Brock Nelson’s right wing on a line with Anthony Beauvillier in the Islanders’ 4-2 win over the Coyotes on Thursday night at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
Brassard got to the crease and redirected defenseman Ryan Pulock’s blast from the right boards to open the scoring at 1:25 of the first period for his first goal as an Islander. He played a season-high 17:54, scoring on his only shot.
“I just felt like I was a little bit more involved tonight,” Brassard said. “Nellie and Beau, they’ve been outstanding since the start of the season. I think they really helped me.”
Komarov to IR
Center Casey Cizikas was activated off injured reserve and logged 14:10 as he returned to the Islanders’ lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury.
Forward Leo Komarov (illness) was placed on IR retroactive to Oct. 17 to clear a roster spot for Cizikas.
Coach Barry Trotz said Komarov will not travel with the team to Ottawa for Friday night’s game against the Senators and also is doubtful for Sunday night’s game against the Flyers at the Coliseum.
Center Cole Bardreau, 26, logged 7:53 and won 6 of 8 faceoffs in his second NHL game. He needed 16 tickets for friends and family after nobody was able to make it to Columbus to see his NHL debut on Saturday. Bardreau centered Michael Dal Colle and rookie Oliver Wahlstrom on the third line, which was where Brassard had been playing . . . The Islanders won 32 of 53 faceoffs (60 percent) . . . The attendance was 10,752 . . . Rookie defenseman Noah Dobson and forwards Tom Kuhnhackl and Ross Johnston were the healthy scratches. “I’m planning to use all our players in the three games,” Trotz said.