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Isles must be flexible to keep up with schedule

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on during

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on during the first period against the Kings at Barclays Center on Feb. 6. Credit: Jim McIsaac

At this point, being flexible with scheduling is second nature to the Islanders.

They’ll have to be with this short turnaround before their Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning opens in Edmonton on Monday at 8 p.m.

The Islanders, who defeated the Flyers, 4-0, in Game 7 of their second-round series on Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena, will depart their Toronto bubble on Sunday and fly across Canada. That leaves little practice time before Monday’s Game 1. The Lightning have not played since eliminating the Bruins on Aug. 31.

“There have been a couple of times we had to wait until 10 o’clock at night to find out a practice time, the way the games are,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.

“We had a stoppage during our series for social issues. I think we’re getting used to whatever you throw at us. We’ll deal with it. We’ll find a way to have each other’s backs and play a good Tampa team and see if we can get a victory.”

Barzal’s best

Top-line center Mathew Barzal had a team-high five shots in 18:11 and consistently controlled the puck in the offensive zone while playing a strong two-way game.

A deflected puck also knocked his helmet off during pregame warm-ups and linemate Jordan Eberle’s errant stick bloodied Barzal’s nose early in the second period. Barzal still has a bandage covering stitches above his right eye after being hit by Claude Giroux’s stick in Game 5.

“As I said to Barzy, ‘You’re going to look more and more like a hockey player as you go on,’  ” Trotz said. “That might have been his best game as a pro since I’ve been on the Island. He was dangerous. His battle level was razor-sharp. There was no cheat in his game. He played a complete game.”

Isles files

Trotz opened his postgame news conference praising Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom as an “inspiration” for returning for the final two games of the series after being diagnosed with bone cancer on Dec. 13 .  .  . Lou Lamoriello earned his 29th playoff win as a general manager, passing former Islanders executive Bill Torrey for second place on the all-time list behind Glen Sather (41) . . . Michael Dal Colle logged 10:42 with two shots as he took Leo Komarov’s spot on Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s right wing . . . Top-line center Sean Couturier, a minus-2 in 20:44, returned to the Flyers’ lineup after exiting Game 5 following a collision with Barzal.

New York Sports