SEATTLE — Any speculation that Mathew Barzal, of Coquitlam, British Columbia, would prefer to play for the Kraken or the Canucks ended when he agreed to an eight-year, $73.2 million extension with the Islanders during training camp on Oct. 4.
But playing in the Pacific Northwest is still special to Barzal, who scored his 100th career goal in his 400th NHL game as the Islanders lost to the Kraken, 4-1, on Sunday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
They will meet the Canucks on Tuesday night, and Barzal said his family and “a lot” of friends will be at that game.
“Definitely one of my favorite trips of the year,” he said.
Barzal, usually a center, slid to right wing as Casey Cizikas moved to the middle on the top line with Josh Bailey. Cizikas, working off the left wall, fed Barzal cutting to the crease at 17:30 of the first period.
“I liked it,” Barzal said of playing wing. “I didn’t mind it for sure. I like playing with Case. He works really hard.”
Barzal played four seasons with Seattle of the Western Hockey League before jumping right to the NHL in 2017. The Thunderbirds won the WHL title that season and qualified for the Memorial Cup.
“A lot of good memories here,” Barzal said. “A lot of good games. A lot of big wins. We won the championship, so that was special. Some of my favorite times in hockey have been here. A lot of my best friends played on that team.”
Coach Lane Lambert said he will consider changing his power-play personnel after the Islanders went 0-for-2 with one shot. They are 1-for-30 in their last 10 games . . . G Ilya Sorokin remained in the game after briefly being shaken up and attended to on the ice. He was hit by a high shot from former Islander Jordan Eberle 30 seconds into the third period . . . The Islanders won 36 of 55 faceoffs (65%) and C Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 19 of 23 (83%) . . . Cal Clutterbuck (upper body), Kyle Palmieri (upper body) and Semyon Varlamov (lower body) remained on injured reserve despite being eligible to be activated. Lambert said all three skated Sunday morning, presumably indicating they are nearing returns. Clutterbuck, who also participated in Saturday’s practice in Seattle, and Palmieri each missed a seventh straight game. Varlamov has missed six games. Adam Pelech (suspected head injury), Oliver Wahlstrom (lower body) and Simon Holmstrom (lower body) also remain on injured reserve but did not travel with the Islanders . . . Robin Salo was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game.