TAMPA — Cal Clutterbuck fell ill on Saturday morning and missed the game here against the Lightning, with Alan Quine subbing in and Doug Weight shuffling his forward lines.
Without Clutterbuck to anchor the line with Casey Cizikas and Jason Chimera — a line Weight would surely have used often against the Lightning’s dangerous group — Weight shook up all but his top line, keeping John Tavares between Anders Lee and Josh Bailey.
Quine took the left-wing spot alongside Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle, Cizikas was between Andrew Ladd and Josh Ho-Sang and Anthony Beauvillier started the game centering Brock Nelson and Chimera.
Being on the road, Weight felt he had no choice to spread out his more defensively capable forwards since the home Lightning had the last line change to try and get the matchups it wanted against the Isles.
“Everybody has to be ready,” Weight said before the game. “You obviously have some opportunities to get a matchup here and there, but everyone has to be prepared.”
Clutterbuck, who turned 30 on Saturday, had a shorthanded goal and added an assist in Thursday’s win over the Hurricanes.
No more hate for Girardi
Saturday was Dan Girardi’s 55th career game against the Islanders but his first not wearing a Rangers uniform.
“It’s definitely a different feeling this morning, treating it like another game,” said Girardi, who had his Rangers contract bought out in June and signed a two-year, $6-million deal with the Lightning. “In New York, it was a big deal every time we played them. I certainly know a lot about them.”
Girardi added that he misses the rivalry and how easy it was to get pumped up to play the Isles.
“No matter how you felt, back-to-back, whatever, you were always up for that game,” he said. “It was always fun. In the Coliseum and then it was still pretty intense in Barclays. It was great to be part of that for 11 years.”
Cooper still likes Lee
Lightning coach Jon Cooper coached Anders Lee in Green Bay of the USHL in 2009-10, the season after the Isles selected Lee 152nd overall. Cooper is still impressed by the young man who turned down a chance to play college football to play hockey at Notre Dame and is now the Isles’ top left wing.
“He’s so hard to move from in front of the net . . . A guy from the Lightning (Dave Andreychuk) just went in the HOF doing what Anders does,” Cooper said. “Also if you play pickup football, Anders is a pretty good QB.”
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