Both Leo Komarov and Islanders coach Barry Trotz agreed. The right wing was stalling.
Komarov, who went to the bench to replace a broken stick, was called for delay of game at 18:12 of the third period in the Islanders’ 3-0 win over the Devils on Saturday night at Barclays Center.
The Islanders led 2-0 at the time and the Devils pulled goalie Keith Kinkaid to skate six-on-four, leading to defenseman Scott Mayfield’s shorthanded empty-netter.
“I was just a little bit tired,” Komarov said. “My stick was a little bit broken. It’s a good call. The stick is broken but you can’t really take it back, either. I took a little extra time, too.”
Trotz said the NHL has been cracking down on such plays and admitted that Komarov was trying to buy some extra time.
The Islanders were the beneficiary of a late-game power play in their 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Panthers on Oct. 24 when referee Wes McCauley grew tired of Nick Bjugstad’s stalling tactics at 17:18 of the third period.
The Islanders have a 6-0-0 record against Metropolitan Division opponents after Saturday’s win, only the second time in franchise history that the team has had such a start in divisional play. The 1982-83 squad, which won the organization’s fourth straight Stanley Cup, also started 6-0-0 in the Patrick Division.
“What it tells me is when the games get ramped up, we haven’t been too small,” Trotz said. “We haven’t flinched.”
LW Matt Martin (upper body/day-to-day) was unable to play, so Ross Johnston, in his second game this season, logged 7:44 with one shot in 11 shifts while playing on Casey Cizikas’ fourth line with Cal Clutterbuck . . . Goalie Christopher Gibson was returned to Bridgeport (AHL).