Mathew Barzal is the Islanders’ leading scorer, which has been the case since his rookie season.
But the top-line center also leads the team with 24 penalty minutes and was in the penalty box for high sticking when Kevin Hayes scored the power-play overtime winner in the Islanders’ 4-3 loss on Sunday night in Philadelphia.
It was his second minor penalty of the night — and seventh of the season — after a second-period holding call against Hayes.
"Yeah, absolutely," coach Barry Trotz said when asked if it is concerning. "He’s taken some untimely ones. He’s a guy that we need on the ice, not off the ice. He’s had some costly penalties, no question. We will talk about that and he’s got to clean that up for us."
Barzal has four goals and six assists in nine games after notching a goal and an assist Sunday.
Trotz believes Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows will be "really good" NHL players. That both were out of the lineup and reassigned to the taxi squad Sunday night had more to do with the Islanders playing on back-to-back nights for the first time and Trotz wanting to see Dmytro Timashov and Austin Czarnik make their Islanders debuts.
"Longer term, I’m certainly excited," Trotz said. "They’re transitioning from boys to men. Wahly is skating much better. He’s not just watching the game. He’s participating. With Kieffer, he’s learning to fight for inches. They’re willing to get off their shots. A little loose with the puck at times or game management. The backhand blind pass through the slot, that probably worked in juniors. It doesn’t work as effectively in the NHL. But for the most part, I’m pretty happy with them. I don’t have any real issues with their games."
Wahlstrom played in the previous two games, scoring his first NHL goal. Bellows has gone without a point in seven games.
Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello acquired Timashov, 24, from the Red Wings on Dec. 11. He was drafted by the Maple Leafs, Lamoriello’s previous team.
Czarnik, 28, was signed as a free agent on Oct. 13. He played the previous two seasons in the Flames’ organization and also has played for the Bruins.
The Islanders were 1-for-6 on the power play with 11 shots and 2-for-18 on the road trip . . . The Islanders did not allow a shot on the Flyers’ five-on-three advantage that lasted 1 minute, 17 seconds in the first period . . . Barzal played in his 241st straight game, the eighth-longest streak in team history . . . Casey Cizikas played in his 542nd game, tying Lorne Henning for 22nd place on the club’s all-time list . . . Defenseman Sebastian Aho, winger Ross Johnston and goalie Cory Schneider were the extras.
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