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Islanders vs. Bruins Game 2 News: Regular Isles lineup (but in goal?), Boston without Smith

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Barry Trotz spoke about Mathew Barzal, Noah Dobson, and guaranteed a Russian goalie will start Game 2.

New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres
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The New York Islanders will try to bounce back for Game 2 in Boston, bringing the same lineup, confirmed by Barry Trotz in the pre-game availability.

Trotz on Barzal

Trotz was asked about Mathew Barzal and spoke philosophically:

“In the playoffs the top players have to fight for their space. In the regular season there is more room for them, there just is. Mat has been able to produce in the playoffs and put up pretty good numbers, this year has been a bit more of a struggle. Those players have to fight for those inches. ... He’s gotta dig in, this isn’t about who he’s playing with. It’s about Mathew digging in and not getting frustrated — I know he’s not [getting frustrated] — he’s been all in on the team process.”

“I don’t have a lot of issues with his game. Would I like him to produce more? Absolutely. ... But he will.”

There was more to his answer (see video below, toward the end of the session), but I tried to capture key points.

Trotz also said Oliver Wahlstrom is not yet ready. He was non-committal on his goaltending choice; when asked “what went into your choice?” he said, “Just...a lot of thought. Will have a Russian left (catching) goaltender in there.”

On that note, Trotz was also asked about being careful with information about injuries, and about trickery in pressers.

“Gamesmanship, I’m not that into the gamesmanship with referees or anything, but I’m going to protect my players [in terms of discussing injuries]. Different coaches have different varieties of that, some of it is over the top.”

Goalie Questioin: Varlamov Coming?

Who will be in goal? Only a few people know. There were mixed signals, as usual.

Fluto Shinzawa had a piece on why the Bruins might prefer to still see Sorokin — the quick-angle shots and rebounds they used to good effect in Game 1.

Trotz on Noah Dobson, who was skipped in the rotation at times in Game 1:

“He’s fine. Sometimes it’s matchups. Obviously, we’re the visiting team so you have to anticipate what they’re trying to do and who they want out against certain people. ... So sometimes especially on the road you lose a few shifts here and there. Sometimes it’s special teams, or which lines (of ours) he lines up with.”

Bruins Smith is Out, Kuhlman in

The Bruins confirmed they will be without Craig Smith, who left Game 1 midway through, likely due to a check by Cal Clutterbuck. Karson Kuhlman steps into the lineup, but Jake DeBrusk moves up to Smith’s spot on the second line.

Bruce Cassidy spoke about that decision, including having David Krejci weigh in on the move in hopes of getting DeBrusk going.