Ryan Strome’s benching lasted two games. The 23-year-old forward got back into the Islanders’ offense-starved lineup on Wednesday, taking Alan Quine’s spot for the game against the Penguins.
“We’ve had some good talks over the last few days,” Jack Capuano said. “He’s been real good. He knows where his game needs to be. He’s one of those guys, for me, he cares so much. He wants to play better. He knows that he can. Just want to continue to have communication with him. What can we do better to continue to try to help him?”
Strome’s addition prompted Capuano to shuffle his forward lines, with Strome centering Andrew Ladd and Shane Prince while Brock Nelson moved to the left wing for the first time this season, playing with John Tavares and Josh Bailey to start Wednesday’s game.
The Islanders entered Wednesday’s game with just 13 goals in their last eight games (plus one awarded for their 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks last week), so Capuano seemed willing to try anything to get his forwards going.
“I just think guys know that they have to bring it upon themselves, too,” Capuano said. “As a staff, we’ve done what we can do. At the end of the day, sometimes the players have to be responsible for their effort and how they’re playing, as well.”
Mayfield in D, Pelech out
Scott Mayfield played his second game of the season, in place of Adam Pelech, who is still sore with an upper-body injury suffered in the second period of Monday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Flames.
Capuano said he was unsure if Pelech would be ready to play Thursday in Washington against the Capitals, so Mayfield may stay in for the short term.
Ryan Pulock was sent to Bridgeport on Tuesday, though he did not play that night for the Sound Tigers. He will play this weekend after missing five weeks with a broken foot.
Dennis Seidenberg, out since Nov. 12 with a broken jaw, has been skating with the Islanders and could be ready to return by Sunday, when the Red Wings visit Barclays Center.