Coach Doug Weight had said he would tweak some of the things the Islanders had done for years under Jack Capuano. Weight showed in the third period Sunday night that he’s willing to do something Capuano rarely did: Bench a player midgame.
Ryan Strome whiffed on a good scoring chance early in the third period and then failed to get back aggressively on Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov to prevent the tying goal in a 3-2 overtime loss. Strome then sat for 8:23, missing three turns at five-on-five, before coming out to play on the power play with the score tied.
“He had a chance to shoot there and he didn’t. That’s human error; you can live with that,” Weight said. “I was more upset with the track [defensively]. It’s a play you’ve got to make, get to the middle, protect that good ice. Stromie knows. He sat a couple shifts and went out for the power play, and we should’ve had one there.”
Strome played 13:36, and his 10:56 of even-strength ice time was second-lowest on the team.
Johnny Boychuk and Cal Clutterbuck both returned after each missed three games. Scott Mayfield and Stephen Gionta sat out as healthy scratches.
Andrew Ladd missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury. Weight said if Ladd comes through Monday’s practice well, he could return Tuesday night when the Islanders host the Blue Jackets.
Weight will have a decision to make on which forward comes out of the lineup if he has to make room for Ladd. Strome’s benching could put him on the hot seat, and Brock Nelson has gone nine games without a point. Shane Prince had an assist on Alan Quine’s goal and made the most of his limited minutes.