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The Islanders bring Mathew Barzal and Zdeno Chara back into the lineup

The islanders are whole again.

After not missing any games for almost two weeks, Mathew Barzal and Zdeno Chara returned to the lineup 5-2 win over the Jets on Friday night.

Barzal, who leads the team with 37 points, is a huge asset as the Islanders’ center depth has been thin on the ground in his absence. Brock Nelson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau in particular have stepped up during his absence. Interestingly, instead of returning Barzal to his usual spot with Anders Lee, Islanders coach Barrydios decided to leave Nelson there, with Barzal in the third row.

“I like our lines the way they were,” said Detroit. “I think all three have the potential to be very dangerous. One of the things I liked was that Leesy came back, he played with Brock. Brock has risen. Brock was as good as anyone on our hockey team. [Jean-Gabriel] Pageau keeps doing what he’s doing. Barzy came back into the lineup, I like Barzy with Zach [Parise].”

Barzal played 17:44 with Chara who scored 16:02 ice time in the win. Although none were included in the scorer list, their presence was a very important factor.

Mathew Barzal runs with the puck while trying to dodge Jensen Harkins (12) and Kristian Vesalainen in the Islanders' 5-2 win over the Jets.
Mathew Barzal runs with the puck while trying to dodge Jensen Harkins (12) and Kristian Vesalainen in the Islanders’ 5-2 win over the Jets.
AP

“To be honest, I didn’t know exactly where Barzy’s game was going to be,”diot said. “But he skated, he was dynamic with the puck. … He’s fresh, he’s looking forward to playing and he’s played well.”

“It’s always great to get Zdeno back into the backfield,” said Adam Pelech. “He’s a prime example of how to defend hard and that’s one reason our defense has improved. As for Barzy, it’s always great to get him back. We definitely missed him there and it’s really nice to have him back in the line-up.”

Despite has said he plans to shuffle forward lines often as the Islanders’ schedule is jam-packed with games until the end of the season. What he does with Barzal – and what works – will be an area to watch as the Islanders struggle to find the answer this season.

“All four lines will be crucial if we want to have any success here in the future,” said Detroit. “And every night you can look at all four of those lines, they can be a number one line.”


The islanders sent Otto Koivula down from IR in an appropriate turn with Chara’s activation.


Oliver Wahlstrom and Sebastian Aho were the healthy scratches for the Islanders. … Friday was Josh Bailey’s first two-goal game since April 20, 2021 against Rangers. … The victory over Winnipeg was the 900th of Defiant’s career.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/12/islanders-get-mathew-barzal-and-zdeno-chara-back-in-lineup/ The Islanders bring Mathew Barzal and Zdeno Chara back into the lineup

JOE HERNANDEZ

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