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Columbus looks to remain undefeated all-time against the Islanders and begin the holiday weekend with back-to-back wins when the teams meet Saturday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Blue Jackets (13-18-3) have finished with a losing record in each season since their 2000-01 debut, and have never reached the playoffs. That wouldn't change if the season ended Saturday, as Columbus is tied with Los Angeles for 12th place in the Western Conference with 29 points.
In their history, the Blue Jackets own a winning record against just six NHL opponents and are unbeaten versus only one - the Islanders. Columbus has six victories and one tie in seven meetings with the Isles, including a 2-0 road record. The last game between the clubs was a 4-3 shootout win for the Blue Jackets at home on Dec. 8, 2005.
Columbus earned just its second victory in five games Friday night, jumping out to a two-goal lead in the first period and holding on to beat Vancouver 3-2. Former Canuck Anson Carter scored on the power play in the opening period and also assisted on Aaron Johnson's first tally of the season.
"We had a great effort tonight and showed a lot of poise and composure," said Carter, who has 14 points in his last 13 games after recording only four points in his first 21 this season.
This is Carter's first season with Columbus, but the 10-year veteran right wing has also enjoyed success versus the Islanders (17-13-3) in his career, as his 21 points against them are his most against any opponent. He had two goals and an assist in his last game at the Coliseum, an 8-1 win for the Canucks on Jan. 14.
The Islanders failed to win their third straight game Friday, allowing four power-play goals in nine opportunities in a 5-1 loss at Carolina.
Goaltender Rick DiPietro made 30 saves but was victimized by several long rebounds, and said motivation may have been a problem for his team after an emotional Tuesday night victory over the rival New York Rangers.
"We can't have a letdown," DiPietro said. "We had to follow it up with a big win, or at least a hard-fought effort. It's a terrible excuse to lose a game. We can't win one and then lose one because you're drained emotionally."
Penalty killing has become a recurring problem for the Islanders, who have given up multiple goals with the man advantage in six of their last 10 games, going 5-5-0 over that span.
Chris Simon's goal provided the only offense for New York on Friday. Alexei Yashin assisted, but was held without a goal for the first time in three games since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for three weeks.