Matt Martin initially was ruled out on a day-to-day basis. That was nearly four weeks ago. The gritty left wing finally returned to the Islanders’ lineup for Monday night’s 4-1 loss to the Capitals at Barclays Center after missing 10 games with an upper-body injury.
The Islanders activated Martin off injured reserve before the game and reinserted him on the fourth line, which still is missing injured center Casey Cizikas.
“The first couple of shifts, things feel a little fast,” said Martin, who had eight hits in 8:49. “I settled in pretty well. I think the whole thing for me was just being able to play the game the way I play the game.”
Tanner Fritz, recalled from Bridgeport (AHL) on Saturday, centered the fourth line for the second straight game as he tries to find a permanent spot on the Islanders’ roster.
After a strong training camp, Fritz played two games with the Isles to start the season, but with no defined role available in the NHL, he was quickly reassigned to Bridgeport, where he had two goals and eight assists in 17 games.
“I knew coming into camp there were a lot of numbers and maybe I was the odd man out,” he said. “You can’t go down there and be frustrated with all that stuff. You’ve just got to control what you control.”
Cizikas (lower body) participated in the morning skate, marking the first time he’s been on the ice with teammates since being placed on injured reserve Nov. 15. He was expected to miss two to three weeks. “I’m hoping he gets a couple of practices in and Casey will be right there,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.
The Islanders scored on their first shot for the second straight game . . . Left wing Ross Johnston, along with center Stephen Gionta and defenseman Luca Sbisa, was a healthy scratch, denying him another shot at Tom Wilson. Johnston earned 17 penalty minutes going after the Washington right wing March 18, with Wilson, reluctant to fight with a broken nose, mockingly waving goodbye as Johnston headed off the ice.
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