Jack Capuano juggled his lineup on the second night of a back-to-back set, as he's done quite a bit the second half of this season. Chad Johnson was in the net instead of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Strait played in place of Lubomir Visnovsky, who was a healthy scratch for the fifth time in the past 14 games.
"There's a method to how we do things," Capuano said of the reasoning behind resting Visnovsky, 38. "Him being older, we want to monitor his ice time. He's been real good about it."
Even with Saturday night's 5-3 loss to Carolina, the Islanders are on very solid playoff footing with 18 games to go. They have four more sets of back-to-back games in this last stretch, but Capuano is not looking to tinker more than he has with Visnovsky and the goaltenders.
"We knew what we were getting ourselves into at the start of this month," he said of the run of 18 games in 33 days that ended Saturday. "But we don't want to take anything off. We want to keep our foot on the pedal."
Saturday night's game did not end as well as Friday night's, and both brought some unhappy feelings about the on-ice officiating. The NHL's operations department confirmed Jay McClement's skate-aided goal in the first period Saturday night, but there were a couple of missed calls that irked the Islanders, plus a 10-minute misconduct to Matt Martin at the end of the second period.
Martin dropped his gloves to fight Carolina's Brett Bellemore, who decided not to drop his gloves in kind. Martin has twice had opposing players drop their gloves this season, not have a fight and not see any penalty called. Carolina's Tim Gleason did the same to Colin McDonald last week in Raleigh and got no penalty.
"That stuff is going to happen from time to time," said Cal Clutterbuck, who was in the middle of the officiating mess Friday. "You have to find a way to ignore it, fight through it."