EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield was not present at practice on Monday morning after taking a shot off his left ankle during the season-opening 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at UBS Arena.
Islanders head coach Lane Lambert classified his absence on Monday as “day-to-day,” and will be considered a game-time decision for Tuesday’s matchup with the Arizona Coyotes.
“There’s some swelling, some maintenance there,” Lambert said. “We’ll see how he is [Tuesday].”
Mayfield suffered the injury in the final minutes of the victory, taking a Rasmus Dahlin shot off the area. He managed to return to the ice and play the final 1:14 of the game.
The 31-year-old, who just inked a seven-year contract extension over the summer, manned the Islanders’ third defensive pairing alongside Sebastian Aho throughout training camp and on Saturday night.
Samuel Bolduc slotted into the pairing in Mayfield’s absence, forcing Aho to play on his off side.
“He’s got to play assertive, let’s put it that way,” Lambert said of Bolduc if he draws into the lineup. “We know he’s going to move the puck, he’s a good puck mover. But we need him to be assertive and defend well and be hard around our net.”
Mayfield has had significant ankle and leg injuries in recent years. He missed the final 21 games of the 2021-22 regular season after taking a shot off the right ankle in a March meeting with the Ottawa Senators. He also broke his leg in the 2017-18 season which limited him to just 47 games that season.
“He’s a big part of our team and an important part of our team,” fellow defenseman Ryan Pulock said. “You need other guys to step in and step up and everyone to do so collectively. Whatever the outcome is, we need every guy to step up and bring a little more.”