Cal Clutterbuck gets milestone hit in Islanders’ victory


SUNRISE, Fla. — After recording his milestone 4,000th hit, building on an NHL record he set last year, Cal Clutterbuck sat at his locker in the bowels of Amerant Bank Arena, his lip swelling and blood visible on the side of his neck.
“I wish I was on the ice for the last four minutes and I wish I would’ve heard the victory song at the end,” he said, a 3-2 win over the Panthers in hand. “But it’s a big one for us.”
A big one that Clutterbuck played a big, emblematic role in getting.
Cal Clutterbuck recovers after being hit with a high stick by Sam
Reinhart during the Islanders’ 3-2 win over the Panthers. Getty Images
Over 10:59 on the ice, Clutterbuck’s contributions on the stat sheet were all defensive in nature.
He accounted for three hits, the third being his 4,000th.
He blocked three shots.
He put in a crucial penalty-kill shift when the Islanders were hanging onto their lead in the third period.
He drew a double-minor high-sticking call on Sam Reinhart with 5:31 to go that vitally took some pressure off the Islanders’ defense while knocking him out for the rest of the game.
By the way, he is completely fine.
“He’s playing a big role on the PK. That PK that the guys did in the third was huge for us,” coach Patrick Roy said. “And it’s always fun to see someone be rewarded.
Anthony Stolarz #41 of the Florida Panthers makes the third period save as Cal Clutterbuck #15 of the New York Islanders looks for the rebound at Amerant Bank Arena. Getty Images
“He’s been here for a long time. He’s been playing well for a long time.”
A season that included his 1,000th game early on and, at least for the time being, is his last under contract, has taken on an introspective tone at times for Clutterbuck.
But this was not a moment for reflecting, not with the Islanders having picked up a vital two points to their playoff chances.
“It’s a big number,” Clutterbuck said of the hits milestone. “So I don’t know how many I got, but I was going for an extra one and I got clocked. That’s what happens.”
That was as deep as things got on a night when everything you needed to see was on the surface level, bloody and bruised and happy.
Roy said he did not expect Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s goal to be waved off for goaltender interference after the Panthers challenged for the second time in the game, the first challenge having been successful.
“Obviously when they go upstairs, that could go both ways,” he said. “I was confident that would be a goal.”
Mat Barzal’s second-period goal was his 23rd of the season, a new career-high.
Simon Holmstrom was a healthy scratch for the second time in three games, with Matt Martin reinserted into the lineup.


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