NEWARK — Scott Mayfield wanted to make it difficult to take him out of the lineup, and he earned himself a second straight game on the Islanders’ defense with a very energetic, smart performance in Thursday night’s 4-2 win over the Rangers.
Energy is never an issue for Mayfield, who fought Devils rookie Miles Wood in the second period in the Islanders’ 3-2 loss Saturday night and was willing to engage physically with the Devils all night.
“When you play the game I try to play, taking the body and trying to be involved, it’s easy to bring that energy every night,” Mayfield said before Saturday night’s game, his 10th of the season (he’s been a healthy scratch 18 times and spent the remainder of this season with Bridgeport). “Sometimes it’s about controlling your emotions a little, but I never have a problem keeping the energy going.”
Mayfield has shown some surprising offensive flair for a 6-4, 224-pound defenseman whose career high at either the pro or collegiate level is only 18 points, with Bridgeport in 2013-14. He has four points in 10 games.
“It’s an important part of the game at the NHL level now. You have to have that four-man attack,” he said. “I think I’ve just been able to pick my spots.”
Adam Pelech was a healthy scratch for the second straight game on defense.
Cal needs to be 100%
Doug Weight said Cal Clutterbuck is close to a return, but with Clutterbuck having suffered two separate injuries in the past month, the coach wouldn’t let him talk his way into the lineup.
“If it’s 85 percent, whatever, he’s not going to play,” Weight said. “If he tells me 100 tomorrow, he’s going to play. But 90 is not cutting it when you’re talking about a recurring injury. Right now I’d say he wouldn’t play tomorrow, but we’ll see. When he can play, he’s in. He’s a core guy on our team. But once it’s recurred a couple times, that 100 number is what I need.”
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