Nick Leddy remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury, so Noah Dobson played in a third straight game for the first time in his NHL career as the Islanders lost, 4-3, in overtime to the Penguins on Thursday night at Barclays Center.
The right-shooting Dobson logged 15:05 with one blocked shot and was a minus-1 as he again was switched to his off-side in order to play in Leddy’s spot paired with the right-shooting Johnny Boychuk.
It’s always been the Islanders’ plan to bring the rookie defenseman along slowly, especially with their options limited to keeping him on the NHL roster or returning him to his junior hockey team. The 19-year-old was not eligible to be reassigned to the AHL.
“I think that was kind of always the plan to start off slow and kind of ease into it,” said Dobson, who has played in six of the Islanders’ first 15 games after being selected 12th overall in 2018. “I think it was the right thing. As a young guy, you don’t want to get thrown too much early and be overwhelmed.”
Barry Trotz has consistently praised Dobson’s poise and calmness. At the same time, the coach repeatedly has said he’s seen way too many young players have their confidence shattered by being thrust into the NHL fray too quickly.
Dobson said Trotz and Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello were clear with him as to how his playing time would be handled.
“I think, at first, it was definitely a little frustrating,” Dobson said. “It’s just my first time going through something like this. The main thing is you’ve just got to try and understand and look at the big picture and take it one day at a time. I’m pretty fortunate to be playing in the NHL at only 19, so I’ve just got to trust the process. Lou has told me many times, ‘You can learn something new every day you’re here.’ That’s what I’m trying to do, and when I get my opportunities, make the most of them.”
Left wing Andrew Ladd (long-term injured reserve/knee) agreed to extend his conditioning stint with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport for two more games after playing in the Sound Tigers’ last three games without notching a point. Bridgeport will host Providence and Binghamton on Saturday and Sunday. Ladd, 33, tore an anterior cruciate ligament on March 24.
It was the first time since Dec. 27, 2014, that the Islanders didn’t win after leading by three goals in the third period. It also was the first time they’ve lost this season when scoring at least three goals. “It won’t be a trend,” Trotz said . . . Defenseman Adam Pelech notched his first goal and his first multi-point game of the season . . . Leddy and right wing Jordan Eberle (injured reserve/lower body) participated in the Islanders’ optional morning skate. Trotz said there is no timetable for Eberle’s return as he remains day-to-day . . . Defenseman Seth Helgeson and forward Otto Koivula were healthy scratches after being recalled from Bridgeport.