RALEIGH, N.C. — Figuring out the best defense pairs with Adam Pelech and Sebastian Aho both injured will be an on-going process for Lane Lambert.
The Islanders coach tried three new combinations in Thursday night’s 5-4 overtime win over the Hurricanes. This three-game road trip opened with a 5-4 loss to the Devils on Tuesday as the Islanders blew a two-goal lead in the third period.
So Lambert reunited Alexander Romanov with Noah Dobson — a pair that did not work at all defensively last season — while re-inserting rookie Samuel Bolduc with Ryan Pulock and pairing newcomer Mike Reilly with Scott Mayfield.
“The thought process was to try and divide the minutes up a little bit,” Lambert said. “Dobber played quite a bit again.”
Dobson logged a game-high 27:04 with two assists. Romanov was on the ice for 24:32, followed by Ryan Pulock’s 22:27 and Scott Mayfield’s 19:44.
Bolduc played a judicious 12:19 and Reilly logged 13:05 in his second game as an Islander after being claimed off waivers from the Panthers.
Grant Hutton was the healthy scratch.
Gauthier dresses again
Left wing Julien Gauthier logged 10:50 without a shot as he played his third straight game on Casey Cizikas’ fourth line with Cal Clutterbuck after dressing for just two of the Islanders’ first 19 games.
“It makes a world of difference,” said Gauthier, whose assist against the Devils marked his first point as an Islander. “When you never have any flow in your game and you’re not playing consistently it’s way harder.”
Matt Martin and Hudson Fasching remained healthy scratches.
Not Wahlstrom’s night
Right wing Oliver Wahlstrom logged 8:14 without a shot and did not play the last 8:47 of the second period.
“There were times when he was OK,” Lambert said. “He’s got to be more consistent, that’s the bottom line.”