The Islanders placed top-pair defenseman Adam Pelech on long-term injured reserve Saturday and claimed journeyman blueliner Mike Reilly off waivers from the Panthers before a 1-0 shootout loss to the Flyers at UBS Arena.
Pelech, who is not eligible to return until Dec. 19, suffered an upper-body injury in Friday night’s 5-3 win in Ottawa, exiting along with fellow defenseman Sebastian Aho (upper body) early in the first period. President/general manager Lou Lamoriello said Aho is not expected to miss as much time as Pelech, who must miss at least 10 games and 24 days.
Reilly will join the Islanders for practice on Monday. Defenseman Grant Hutton was recalled from the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport and was in Saturday’s lineup, paired with rookie Samuel Bolduc.
Also on Saturday, fourth-line left wing Matt Martin (upper body) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 15. He missed his fifth straight game, but Lamoriello said Martin has been “skating and shooting and he should be ready in the next couple of days.”
Pelech left the ice at 2:23 after absorbing a hit from Drake Batherson and screaming in pain as he appeared to injure his left wrist. Aho was checked hard into the end boards by Rourke Chartier and hobbled to the bench at 3:07 before following Pelech to the Islanders’ room.
The Islanders went a combined 17-32-12 after Pelech injured his Achilles tendon in 2019-20 and suffered a head injury last season. They were 0-2-1 when Pelech missed time earlier this month with a separate injury.
“There’s no question the type of player he is and how important he is to the lineup,” Lamoriello said. “But injuries are part of the game and you have to rise to the occasion.”
The left-shooting Reilly, 30, appeared in two games this season with the Panthers after agreeing to a one-year, $1 million deal. He has played 339 NHL games for the Wild, Canadiens, Senators, Bruins and Panthers after becoming a fourth-round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2011.
“It’s not that we have a lack of confidence in the defensemen in Bridgeport, it’s just that we bring in a more experienced person,” Lamoriello said.
Placing Pelech on LTIR allows the Islanders to exceed their $83.5 million salary-cap ceiling by his $5.75 million cap charge.
Cal Clutterbuck, who played in his 1,000th NHL game on Wednesday, was honored with a pregame ceremony. His parents, wife and four children were on the ice as Anders Lee presented him a silver stick for his milestone . . . Left wing Julien Gauthier dressed for his third game as coach Lane Lambert opted to use his fresh legs on the second night of a back-to-back, making Hudson Fasching the healthy scratch.