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Lambert Contemplating Some Lineup Changes Ahead of Game vs. Ducks



New York Islanders forward Simon Holmstrom (Courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)
New York Islanders forward Simon Holmstrom (Courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)

ANAHEIM — The New York Islanders did not skate Thursday morning ahead of their game against the Anaheim Ducks. Islanders head coach Lane Lambert addressed the media. Here’s what he had to say about a few topics.

Following a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Lambert has some decisions to make regarding his lineup.

“We’ve got a couple of decisions at warmups to make,” Lambert said.

It’s not that his lineup or gameplan against the Kings was particularly poor. In fact it was quite good early, but a few penalties early in the second wiped out a strong opening twenty, and the game got away.

READ MORE: 3 Burning Islanders Questions Ahead of Ducks Game

With Jean-Gabriel Pageau returning from a 12-game absence, Lambert took Simon Holmstrom out of the lineup. He had just three goals in 22 games, as he had not provided production at the expected level.

But Lambert elected not to say his removal from the lineup was because of poor play.

“I think it was just a numbers thing in that situation. A couple guys coming back in,” Lambert said.

Cal Clutterbuck, who had missed 20 games with an upper-body injury, played against the Washington Capitals last Saturday in a 5-1 loss. He stayed in the lineup and was reunited back on the wing of Casey Cizikas, with Matt Martin flanking the left side.

Here was the forward group from last night:

Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Josh Bailey
Zach Parise-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Pierre Engvall-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

The biggest issue in the game Tuesday night was the special teams battle the Islanders lost. They went 0 for 3, while the Kings went 2 for 2.

Lambert was not thrilled with the power play, which mustered just two shots, and couldn’t get a goal with a two-man advantage late with Ilya Sorokin on the net.

As for what was the issue with the power play: “Not getting the puck in the zone. You know, they did a really good job on their forecheck, and we didn’t do a good enough job on our breakouts.”

Noah Dobson is the puck carrier on the top power-play unit, and this has been a bit of a common issue all season.

The Islanders face off against the Ducks at 10 PM ET.


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