SUNRISE, Fla. — The Islanders recently had Cal Clutterbuck reach 1,000 games and Anders Lee get to 700, so perhaps 100 games does not seem that noteworthy. But it’s a huge milestone to Hudson Fasching after seven seasons of bouncing between the NHL and AHL.
“That’s always been a big goal for me,” Fasching told Newsday on Saturday as he dressed for his 100th NHL game, a 4-3 win over the Panthers at Amerant Bank Arena. “I’m like, ‘If I could ever get to 100, it’d be a success.’ It’s a goal I set for myself a long time ago. To be able to hit it means a lot. It’s been a lot of hard work.”
Fasching, 28, also has played for the Sabres and Coyotes after the Kings drafted him in the fourth round in 2013.
He logged 11:21 in his 13th game this season after being a healthy scratch the previous three games.
“I saw a lot of good things,” coach Lane Lambert said. “He protected pucks. I thought he was skating. I thought he was physical down low.”
Mathew Barzal (illness) missed a game for the first time this season and the Islanders listed him as day-to-day. He was the only Islander not to participate in Saturday’s morning skate. Matt Martin and defenseman Grant Hutton remained healthy scratches.
Nelson seems OK
The Islanders survived a scare when Brock Nelson, who leads the team with 10 goals, retreated to the dressing room at 14:41 of the second period after his left knee appeared to buckle as he went down hard at the team’s crease. Nelson returned to start the third period and Lambert said there weren’t any lingering concerns. “No, I don’t think so,” he said. “He came back and played.”
Nelson and Bo Horvat each had two assists . . . Defenseman Mike Reilly had three shots in 8:51 in his first game against the Panthers since they put him on waivers on Nov. 24. He played only two games for them after signing a one-year, $1 million deal. The trip back to Florida was beneficial for Reilly so he could clean out his apartment, and he said: “My mom just came down yesterday to help out with that.”