TORONTO — The hits kept coming for Cal Clutterbuck on Monday night.
He had nine of them in the Islanders’ 3-2 overtime win over the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena, giving him 3,635 for his career.
Clutterbuck became the NHL’s all-time leader for hits as he surpassed Dustin Brown (3,632). The league started keeping the statistic in 2005-06.
“The thing I’m most proud of is, it’s probably a record of longevity and consistency,” Clutterbuck said. “It’s something I’m proud of. It’s a little bit of validation of the amount of work I’ve put into it and the consistency with which I’ve been able to go out there and do it with.”
And Clutterbuck, 35, really does enjoy landing a big hit.
“I’ve loved it ever since I was able to,” he said. “It starts with Rock ’Em Sock ’Em tapes. Don Cherry tapes. I used to get them every year for my birthday. You watch the goals, the plays made and the hits. Even when I first started, I remember being pretty good at it and really enjoying the thrill of laying a big one.”
Brock Nelson limped to the dressing room at 1:42 of the first period after appearing to hurt his right leg while winning a faceoff against David Kampf. But he returned to the ice at 7:16 of the first period.
Kyle Palmieri missed 10 minutes after exiting at 1:06 of the third period after a collision with defenseman Morgan Rielly.
Lane Lambert switched his defense pairs, using Sebastian Aho with Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov with Scott Mayfield. He also juggled his lines at the start but ultimately reverted to what he’s used in previous games by the third period . . . Mathew Barzal extended his point streak to five games (two goals, five assists) . . . D Robin Salo and LW Ross Johnston remained healthy scratches.