Barry Trotz wasn’t kidding.
The Islanders coach said prior to Saturday night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Panthers at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum he “absolutely” was thinking of shuffling his lines to spark more five-on-five offense.
The top line of Mathew Barzal centering captain Anders Lee and right wing Jordan Eberle remained intact. But that was it.
The fourth line was completely broken up, with center Casey Cizikas missing his second straight game and left wing Matt Martin a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Scrappy right wing Cal Clutterbuck and left wing Anthony Beauvillier were pushed to Brock Nelson’s second line. Left wing Josh Bailey was placed with center Derick Brassard and Michael Dal Colle, while gritty Ross Johnston made his season debut on Leo Komarov’s left wing along with Tom Kuhnhackl.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been away from the other two guys,” Clutterbuck said. “I was just trying to go out there and give them some heaviness, keep the puck moving forward and be reliable. I’m happy for the opportunity. It was fun.”
Too soon for Cizikas
Trotz said Cizikas suffered an unspecified injury in the last preseason game and acknowledged he probably played him sooner than he should have.
“It sort of keeps getting aggravated every time he plays,” Trotz said “We probably should have held him out a little bit longer, in retrospect, but he wanted to get going.”
Cizikas, seen in a walking boot, has one assist in three games.
Defenseman Nick Leddy logged 18:27 after missing Friday’s loss with an unspecified issue as rookie Noah Dobson was a healthy scratch ... The attendance was 11,421 ... Left wing Ross Johnston logged 7:08 in his season debut, fought defenseman Josh Brown in the third period and screened Panthers goalie Sam Montembeault on Anders Lee’s second-period goal ... The Islanders blocked 19 shots.