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Mathew Barzal takes share of blame for being shaken up on Mike Matheson's hit

Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders and

Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders and Brandon Tanev  of the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 18, 2021. Credit: Getty Images/Emilee Chinn

Mathew Barzal led the Islanders with seven shots in Saturday night’s 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

Clearly there were no lingering effects from Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson’s hit on him two nights earlier.

In fact, Barzal took some of the blame for getting shaken up on the third-period boarding penalty in the Islanders’ 4-1 loss on Thursday.

"It was sore for a few minutes after the game, but I got some work done right afterward, woke up the next morning and felt pretty much back to normal," said Barzal, who logged 21:33 on Saturday.

"I didn’t put myself in a great spot," he added. "I never like the cross-check to the numbers, but I do feel like I did turn into him a bit. The onus is on me as much as it is on him. I’ve got to put myself in a better position there."

Short leash

Leo Komarov logged 9:27, just missing on a backhander at the crease two minutes into the game, after a two-game reassignment to the taxi squad. He went in for rookie Kieffer Bellows, who was a minus-2 in a team-low 7:47 on Thursday in his first game since Jan. 30.

"I talked to the guys at the start of the year and I just said, ‘When you get an opportunity to jump in, you have to take advantage of it,’ " coach Barry Trotz said. "The season is so short, there’s not a lot of room to wait for guys. If you’re a fringe player or a depth player from the taxi squad and you get an opportunity to jump in, you’ve just got to get the job done. There’s not a long leash there."

Isles files

Anders Lee played in his 285th straight game, the third-longest ironman streak in Islanders history . . . Michael Dal Colle was unavailable for a second straight game . . . Josh Bailey and Nick Leddy each had a three-game point streak snapped . . . Goalie Ilya Sorokin was reassigned to the taxi squad. Cory Schneider was Semyon Varlamov’s backup.

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