The New York Islanders blueline has taken some serious blows over the past month. First, the Isles lost Johnny Boychuk following a scary crash into the boards and then Travis Hamonic went down. Both will be out through the all-star break.
With that in mind, you can imagine the reaction from Islanders fans Thursday evening when rookie defenseman Adam Pelech, who has been steady since Boychuk went down, took a skate to the face from Rangers center Derek Stepan. Pelech immediately grabs at his face and checks for blood:
Pelech, 21, missed the remainder of the first period, but he wasn’t out for the contest. After getting stitched up, Pelech was back on the Islanders bench following intermission and back out on the ice less than two minutes into the second frame.
Pelech was rewarded for his toughness, too, as he picked up his first NHL point on a savvy bit of pinching during a stretch of 4-on-4 early in the third period. Pelech charged into the Rangers’ zone and helped create a turnover that lead to a goal by Brock Nelson.
Drafted in the third-round, 65th overall in 2012, Pelech made his NHL debut this season and has gotten into seven games this season. The 2014-15 campaign was his first year as a pro and he turned in 11 points — all assists — in 65 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.