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Jackets try for two in a row vs. struggling Isles

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

John Kreiser - Columnist

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Jackets try for two in a row vs. struggling Isles
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Islanders

BLUE JACKETS (15-18-7) at ISLANDERS (15-18-7)

Last 10 -- Columbus 1-7-2; New York 4-6-0.

Season series -- The teams are meeting for the first time this season. They play again on March 27 at Nationwide Arena. Both teams won at home last season: The Isles beat the Jackets 4-3 in overtime on Nov. 3, then lost 3-1 on Dec. 13. Columbus has won eight of the 10 meetings between the teams.

Big story -- Don't expect a lot of goals; both teams are struggling to score -- and win. The Jackets needed an overtime goal by Fredrik Modin on Monday to beat Detroit 1-0 and end a nine-game losing streak, and Columbus hasn't scored more than two goals in its last seven games. The Islanders are coming off a 2-1 home loss to Philadelphia on Sunday and haven't scored more than three goals in more than a month.

Team Scope:

Blue Jackets -- Modin's OT goal set off a wild celebration on the ice -- not surprising from a team that hadn't won since Dec. 9. He backhanded his own rebound past Detroit's Jimmy Howard on the Jackets' 40th shot of the night.

"It feels good to get a win, finally," said Modin, who has missed most of the season with injuries. "It's been a struggle. We've been trying to find our game here for a long period of time. This is definitely a step in the right direction."

The Jackets may have a couple of new faces in the lineup against the Isles as they try to break an 11-game road losing streak. On Monday, they traded forward Jason Chimera to Washington for Caps captain Chris Clark, a forward, and defenseman Milan Jurcina.

"We couldn't wait on the health of (defenseman) Rusty Klesla," coach Ken Hitchcock said after Monday's game. "Jurcina is going to give us good minutes and Clark is a good pro. Clark knows what it takes to win. We need his type of presence."

Islanders -- This is the end of a 10-game stretch that saw the Islanders play eight times at home and twice against the Rangers in New York. They won the two road games, but have taken just two of the seven home games, including Sunday's lackluster showing in the loss to the Flyers.

"You try to just focus on doing what makes your team successful," right wing Trent Hunter told the team's Web site. "You can't worry about rivalries and records. You just have to worry about the next game and worry about getting the two points."

Who's hot -- Neither team has anyone who's lighting it up offensively, though the Isles' Kyle Okposo had a goal and a pair of assists in Saturday's 3-2 OT road win over the Rangers and was named the game's first star. Columbus goaltender Steve Mason, who has struggled for much of the season after winning the Calder Trophy in 2008-09, is coming off his second shutout.

Injury report -- The Jackets' deal with the Caps landed Jurcina to provide some help on the blue line with Klesla (abdominal surgery) and Mark Methot (upper body) out for the next few weeks. Forward Derek Dorsett (broken hand) won't be back until mid-January at the earliest. … The Islanders are still without forwards Sean Bergenheim (shoulder) and Doug Weight (upper body). They hope rehabbing goaltender Rick DiPietro, who has missed almost an entire year due to knee problems that required surgery, will play a full AHL game this weekend.

Stat pack -- The Islanders have scored only 26 goals in their 10 games against the Jackets since Columbus entered the NHL in 2000. … Despite Monday's shutout, the Jackets have allowed 136 goals, the most of any team in the Western Conference. … The Islanders are 1-4-0 against the West this season. … Dwayne Roloson, who figures to get the start in goal for the Isles, is 13-7-5; Martin Biron, the loser on Sunday, is 2-11-2 and hasn't won in nearly seven weeks.

Puck drop -- The Islanders are one of the few teams the Jackets have dominated over the years, and they got a big weight off their back by snapping their nine-game losing streak on Monday. With this inter-conference game sandwiched between division games with Detroit and Nashville, it will be interesting to see how much emotion the Jackets have left for a road game against a team they rarely see.

2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 27 '10 NYI 4 at CBJ 3 - OT J. Bailey
Dec 29 '09 CBJ 1 at NYI 2 - SO R. Schremp
R. Nash41191837-122852
A. Vermette41111829-51430
R. Umberger41131427-131732
K. Huselius37111526-102252
J. Voracek4181523-91030
D. Brassard4051419-131820
F. Tyutin4111819-62001
A. Stralman3641418-41640
R. Torres3810717-51862
J. Chimera398917-74711
C. Clark3941115-42701
K. Russell333710-71700
S. Pahlsson38279+01400
R. Klesla26268-72601
J. Hejda33156-61810
M. Commodore28066-92700
M. Roy17055-1800
J. Boll36314+39000
M. Methot31134-93500
D. Dorsett21134+26000
D. MacKenzie16134+4000
M. Jurcina28044+01400
N. Filatov13202+0801
F. Modin10112-21001
A. Murray14011-2200
M. Blunden21000+12900
A. Picard3000+0500
T. Sestito1000+0500
S. Mason3111-13-6928663.18.894
M. Garon164-5-2373762.89.902
J. Tavares41161228-61082
K. Okposo4062127-41623
M. Moulson41151126-31632
M. Streit4141620+33021
T. Hunter267916+4630
F. Nielsen3561016+9201
J. Bailey408513+6611
J. Tambellini237512-1430
S. Bergenheim304711+11400
B. Comeau254711-42202
R. Park412911-191401
J. Hillen371910+52800
A. Sutton35358+03800
J. Sim39437-52810
B. Gervais35077-121500
N. Thompson36156-123500
R. Schremp19156-5810
F. Meyer27066-62000
D. Weight11066+2000
B. Witt38224-204501
T. Jackman33213-77000
R. Martinek16213-11200
A. MacDonald17101+7800
J. Joensuu7101+0200
J. Rechlicz5000-1700
D. Roloson2614-7-5718232.75.914
M. Biron172-11-2515083.22.900