SUNRISE, Fla. — After the Islanders’ practice on Friday at BB&T Center, Barry Trotz huddled briefly with Anthony Beauvillier to make sure the 21-year-old forward didn’t take the personnel changes too personally.
Trotz, who has not tinkered with his lineup too much this season, altered three of his four lines and his second power-play unit as the Islanders (8-5-2) prepared to face the Panthers (4-5-3) on Saturday night.
Beauvillier was dropped from the second line to the fourth and off the power play. Trotz also moved center Mathew Barzal between top-line wings Anders Lee and Josh Bailey and put Brock Nelson between Tom Kuhnhackl — in Beauvillier’s usual spot — and Jordan Eberle. Beauvillier skated on Casey Cizikas’ line along with Cal Clutterbuck.
“That’s why I was talking to him,” Trotz said. “Most times, the young guys, they think too much. They get in their own heads a little bit. I think he was fine last night. He was using his legs and skating very well.”
The Islanders had a 5-0-2 streak snapped in Thursday night’s 4-2 loss to the Lightning to open this two-game road trip.
The power play was 0-for-5 and could not muster a shot while looking to tie the score during a 48-second five-on-three advantage to start the third period. The Islanders are in a 1-for-15 rut during the past four games.
So Beauvillier and defenseman Johnny Boychuk came off the second power-play unit, replaced by Valtteri Filppula and Adam Pelech, respectively.
“How do I take that?” said Beauvillier, who has one goal in 14 games after recording 21 goals and 15 assists last season. “The power play hasn’t been working real well for us as a second unit. There’ll be some changes. You don’t want to be the guy that’s getting out of the power play but, if the power play can get going again, good for us, good for the team.”
The wily Filppula, 34, who has five goals and three assists and also is an integral part of the Isles’ penalty kill, was not used frequently on the power play during the previous two seasons with the Flyers. Before that, the Lightning did use him more regularly with the man advantage.
Notes & quotes: The Panthers will host Bill Torrey Tribute Night for the late Hall of Famer before Saturday’s game. Torrey, who passed away on May 2 at age 83, was the general manager of the Islanders from their inception in 1972 through 1992, a run that included four Stanley Cups. He then took over the expansion Panthers in 1993 until 2001. The Islanders also plan to honor Torrey at a game at Nassau Coliseum.