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Barry Trotz has no timetable for Cal Clutterbuck's return

Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders battles

Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders battles for the puck against Auston Matthewsof the Toronto Maple Leafs at NYCB Live on Nov. 13, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Patrice Bergeron’s skate blade sliced through a tendon in Cal Clutterbuck’s left wrist the previous time the Islanders faced the Bruins, a 3-2 shootout win at Boston on Dec. 19.

The Islanders still are adjusting to Clutterbuck’s indefinite absence, with Leo Komarov trying to fill his spot at center  on Casey Cizikas’ invaluable identity line with left wing Matt Martin. That revamped trio was together for the seventh straight game as the Islanders lost, 3-2, in overtime to the Bruins on Saturday night at Barclays Center.

For now, coach Barry Trotz does not have a timetable on Clutterbuck’s return. Clutterbuck is working out off ice but has yet to resume skating.

“He’s progressing well,” Trotz said. “He’s doing some stuff with biking, exercising, that type of thing. He hasn’t hit the ice yet and, when he does, it will be a while before he can do what he needs to do.

“Honestly, I don’t have a timeline on that. He’s going to progress from working on the stationary bike to being on the ice. He’ll do that without a stick for a while. The stick will come, strengthen it, shooting it. Stickhandling will be the next component. But he’s not at that point yet.”

Trotz has used Komarov to take some of Clutterbuck’s penalty-killing minutes.

Komarov’s diving feed set up Martin’s winner in a 3-1 victory in Minnesota on Dec. 29 and the line generated two goals from Cizikas in a 4-3 win in Washington on Dec. 31. Martin and Komarov set up another goal by Cizikas in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime win in New Jersey.

“I think the line has got a little bit of identity,” Trotz said. “Cal is probably a little bit more physical than Leo. But the same component and they’re hard to play against.”

Cizikas hurting

Cizikas remained on the ice for more than a minute and still was visibly in pain in the postgame dressing room after blocking David Pastrnak’s power-play shot 57 seconds into overtime. The shot rose up and hit Cizikas in the groin area.

“He’s pretty painful,” Trotz said. “It hit him in a tough area. A little ice and just resting tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be ready to go [Monday against the Rangers].”

Isles files

The Capitals’ T.J. Oshie was voted via fan balloting onto the Metropolitan Division All-Star squad as the last man in. Brock Nelson was the Islanders’ candidate. Mathew Barzal remains the team’s lone All-Star . . . The Islanders are 4-0-2 at Barclays Center this season . . . The attendance was 14,962 . . . Defenseman Sebastian Aho was recalled from the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, skated in pregame warmups as a healthy scratch and then was returned for the Sound Tigers’ game on Sunday afternoon . . . Left wing Ross Johnston remained a healthy scratch . . . Right wing Tom Kuhnhackl played after missing Friday’s practice because of a strain . . . The game was the Islanders’ first in Brooklyn since a 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets on Nov. 30. They don’t play at Barclays again until they face the Canucks on Feb. 1.

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