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Playoff Gameday: Islanders Expecting Lineup Changes Throughout Series vs. Flyers



New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers

The New York Islanders will have everyone available when the open their Second Round series with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight.

That will be handy for the Islanders, who are expecting to make some lineup changes throughout the series with potentially two back-to-back situations. The circumstances surrounding this year’s postseason have already limited their practice time this week, and the condensed schedule means they might have to make some adjustments over the six-day span that will see them play four times.

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“I can only tell you (the lineup) will be reassessed at every game,” Trotz said this afternoon. “I think we look at our lineup with a little bit of a plan. Just like we have every series and we sort of react to the game. Or the play of the team or the play of the individual player. Knowing that there is a couple of back-to-backs I think there will be a few lineup changes and you’ll probably see that at both ends.”

The New York Islanders made their first significant lineup changes in Game 5 of the series against the Washington Capitals. Ross Johnston and Michael Dal Colle were both inserted into the lineup and Leo Komarov was shifted to the fourth line.

The Islanders defeated the Capitals 4-0 in Game 5 to eliminate them from the postseason. Komarov succeeded with Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas, while Clutterbuck was sidelined. Johnston and Dal Colle also played well in their roughly 10 minutes of time on the ice.

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“I thought we rolled all four lines really and we did our job, and did it effectively,” Martin said. “For us as a team, it really comes down to all four lines, all six D and our goaltender taking care of business doing our jobs. We win as a group and we don’t rely on anyone really and I’d like to think we’re a deep team too.

“When we do have guys in and out in the lineup we’re able to shuffle things around. Get other guys in there and still play the same style.”

This will be the second playoff series that the New York Islanders have had this year which has games scheduled on back-to-back days. The Islanders had one back-to-back in their Qualifying Round series with the Florida Panthers.

They will have two if the series goes a full seven games.

“I think you just need to do whatever you need to feel your best,” Nick Leddy said about the back-to-backs. “Having been through it a few years now you kind of understand what you need to do and how to take care of your body. I think you just automatically do it. it’s not one thing or the other. I think it’s also just being a professional and taking care of your body.”

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers enter the series as one of the hottest teams in the postseason. Philadelphia is 7-2-0 through nine games since the NHL restarted last month.

Philly won all three games in the round-robin and took care of the Montreal Canadiens in six games. The least amount of turnovers in the First Round with 46 and the most drawn penalties with 32.

Carter Hart also started in all six games for Philly and his .943 save percentage is the best among any goaltender in the playoffs.

“He’s obviously an exceptional young goalie,” Martin said. “He’s obviously playing with confidence right now. Kid with high expectations who is coming in and performing and we want to try to get to him early.”

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Game Notes

The Islanders are 1-3 against the Flyers in the postseason. Their only series win came in 1980 in the Stanley Cup Final. … Anthony Beauvillier leads the Islanders in goals through the Islanders first nine playoff contests with six. That also has him tied for the league lead in goals in the postseason. … Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers in goals (4) and points (8) in nine postseason games this year. … Claude Giroux has 56 points (18 goals, 38 assists) in 52 career games against the Islanders.

How to Watch

Locally the game will air on NBCSN and available to stream on NHL.TV outside of the New York market. On the radio dial, the game will air on 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio