PITTSBURGH — Sometimes it’s execution, and that’s been part of the reason the Islanders’ power play has struggled. But sometimes it’s also confidence.
The Islanders were 0-for-2 with only three shots on the power play in Thursday night’s 6-2 loss to the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena, leaving them 0-for-19 in the past nine games and 4-for-48 since a 3-2 shootout win over the Penguins at Barclays Center on Nov. 1, a span of 16 games.
“What we tried to do with our power play is get it a reset and give it some of the foundational stuff that we probably got away from,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We’re just trying to rebuild it, give it some confidence and go forward.”
Trotz has switched Mathew Barzal back to the top unit and back to his preferred spot along the left half-wall and inserted Valtteri Filppula in the second unit.
Right wing Josh Bailey, a longtime fixture among the top-six forwards, started the game on Filppula’s third line with Leo Komarov. Former Penguin Tom Kuhnhackl took his spot on Barzal’s second line with Anthony Beauvillier.
Trotz flip-flopped the wings to start the third period. Kuhnhackl had an assist and two blocked shots in 10:47 and Bailey had four shots in 17:49.
Goalie Robin Lehner (tweak) did not dress for a second straight game but participated in the optional morning skate, his first time on ice since Monday’s practice. Trotz said he isn’t sure if Lehner will be ready for Saturday night’s game at Detroit . . . Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has 36 goals and 77 assists in 65 career games against the Islanders.