Cal Clutterbuck acknowledged a huge sense of relief.
The gritty fourth-liner capped the scoring with a power-play goal in the Islanders’ 5-2 win over the Canucks on Tuesday night at Barclays Center, marking his first goal in 52 games dating to Jan. 13.
“I think it would weigh on anybody,” Clutterbuck said. “I think the worst part is a lot of self doubt that creeps in. A 10-game or 15-game slump is one thing. When it goes that long, you start to doubt your own ability. You get a good support system to keep reinforcing the fact that you’re playing well and you keep doing your job and it’ll go in. It did tonight and it’s a big relief.”
Coach Barry Trotz has kept Clutterbuck on the second power-play unit all season because of his tenacity around the crease.
“There was a monkey on his back,” Trotz said. “More like a gorilla.”
Left wing Matt Martin (upper body/day to day), who missed his fifth straight game, resumed practicing with his teammates as he participated in the optional morning skate.
“This was really his first day with a semi-normal group,” Trotz said. “He’s got to join the normal group the next day or two and then we’ll see where we are.”
The Islanders have a full team practice scheduled on Wednesday.
Notes & Quotes
Ex-Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa logged 15:53 in his fourth game this season as Adam Pelech was a healthy scratch for the second time this season after his mistakes in the Islanders’ 4-2 loss at Florida on Saturday night led directly to two goals, including the winner…Left wing Anthony Beauvillier logged a season-low 7:42…Left wing Ross Johnston was the other healthy scratch…The Islanders wore their alternate jerseys for the second of three times this month…Tuesday was Military Appreciation Night at Barclays Center.
Sign up for Newsday’s Islanders texts with a 14-day free trial at newsday.com/islestext.