Johnny Boychuk of the New York Islanders reacts after being hit...

Johnny Boychuk of the New York Islanders reacts after being hit during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Opinion was split over party lines.

The Islanders were furious about Jakub Voracek’s third-period hit that knocked defenseman Johnny Boychuk out of Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to the Flyers at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. The Flyers thought it was an overreaction that Josh Bailey, then Scott Mayfield, then Leo Komarov went after Voracek.

“It’s a 5-1 hockey game, he lunges back,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “You’ve got a guy that plays his whole career hard and clean. Just completely unnecessary.”

Voracek, whose shoulder appeared to make contact with Boychuk’s head, was given a five-minute interference major. “There was contact at the head,” said coach Barry Trotz, who did not have an update on Boychuk. “We’re trying to get that out of the game. We were asking about why Voracek wasn’t thrown out. The player is injured. The referees said they have an option if it’s sort of accidental.”

Boychuk, who left pointing and screaming at Voracek, had gone to check him. “I tried to protect myself,” Voracek said. “I thought the puck was closer to me and it’s a tough hit, but he’s skating off the ice and he’s pointing at me like it’s WrestleMania. Like come on, it’s a hockey game.”  

Lehner still out

Goalie Robin Lehner missed his second game after suffering an apparent head injury in a collision with Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk on Tuesday night. Trotz said there is “no timeframe” for his return. “He hasn’t skated yet,” he said.  

Martin returns to action

Matt Martin returned to the lineup  after missing four games with an upper-body injury as the invaluable fourth line nears complete health. Martin had three hits in 12:59.

Right wing Cal Clutterbuck was sidelined for the third game with an upper-body injury but participated in the morning skate, his first time skating with teammates since exiting last Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Flyers. Center Casey Cizikas is fully recovered from the stomach virus that affected much of the team.

“They’re better when you get the sum of all three of those parts together,” Trotz said. “When you’re missing a piece or two to it, the identity of that line goes away a little bit.”

Ross Johnston was used in Martin’s spot in his absence, scoring his first goal of the season, while Leo Komarov remained in Clutterbuck’s normal spot on Saturday night.

Martin has lost 13 games total to injury in his first season back with the Islanders after being re-acquired from the Maple Leafs. “It always stinks for sure,” he said. “As an athlete, you never like missing games. You never like admitting you’re hurt and you can’t play.”

Isles files

Christopher Gibson stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period after relieving Thomas Greiss.

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