The Islanders are getting some much-needed reinforcements back.
Just hours before puck drop on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced that both defenseman Adam Pelech and winger Kyle Palmieri were activated off lengthy injured-reserve stints.
Palmieri had missed 27 of the last 28 games due to injury issues — his absence leaving a sizable hole for a team that was receiving little to no production from its forwards.
Bouncing between Mathew Barzal’s flank on the first line and the third line, Palmieri had only six goals in his first 21 games this season but the Islanders as a team averaged just 2.6 goals over the last 28 games compared to the 3.3 they were averaging with Palmieri in the lineup.
While Palmieri could potentially provide a boost to the Islanders’ attack, Pelech will bring stability back to a blue line that has struggled to find consistency without him.
Since Pelech went down with a head injury on Dec. 6 against the St. Louis Blues, the Islanders have a -11 goal differential while allowing an average of 3.2 goals per game.
The 28-year-old is the Islanders’ top defensive blueliner and he can reunite with his long-time partner, Ryan Pulock, who has had to try and make things work over the last six weeks with young, unproven defensemen like Robin Salo, Parker Wotherspoon, and Dennis Cholowski.
To make room for Palmieri and Pelech, the Islanders sent Cholowski back down to their minor-league affiliate in Bridgeport and placed Fasching on injured reserve.
Fasching had impressed during his stint in the NHL, recording three goals in 19 games as a bottom-six option for the shorthanded squad.
Earlier on Monday, the Islanders placed veteran winger Cal Clutterbuck on IR and recalled 2019 second-round pick Samuel Bolduc from Bridgeport.