Mathew Barzal and Zdeno Chara each missed his sixth straight game as the Islanders beat the Blue Jackets, 6-0, on Thursday night at UBS Arena.
Coach Barry Trotz believes Chara will be available to return against the Jets on Friday night as the Islanders continue their six-game homestand. Whether Trotz will alter his lineup, even on back-to-back nights, after Thursday’s total team effort is uncertain.
Chara (upper body) and Barzal (lower body) participated in the Islanders’ morning skate on Thursday. It was Barzal’s first time skating with teammates since getting hurt.
"They’re probably both close," Trotz said. "In Z’s case, he will be probably available for tomorrow. We just wanted to give him one more day with his injury going into a back-to-back. Barzy, we wanted to find out a little bit, so we’ll see where he is tomorrow."
Cizikas’ rough night
Casey Cizikas, one of the Islanders’ top penalty-killers, was whistled for four minor penalties: a tripping call in the final seconds of the first period, hooking and high-sticking in the second period and tripping in the third.
That the Islanders were 5-for-5 on the penalty kill was the only reason Trotz was in good humor about Cizikas’ troubles.
"I even said to Casey, ‘You want to take one more and set a record?’ " Trotz said. "He declined. When you win, [it’s easier to laugh]). That’s suspendable by me in my world. But you have nights like that. Casey’s a really important part of our penalty kill and guys had to step up and do a really good job."
The Blue Jackets had six power-play shots.
Ryan Pulock and Anthony Beauvillier each had three assists. Noah Dobson had two . . . Kieffer Bellows was a healthy scratch after being in the lineup the previous 10 games.