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At the Rink blog

Umberger back for Blue Jackets, Okposo OK for Isles

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 12:14 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Umberger back for Blue Jackets, Okposo OK for Isles

Columbus Blue Jackets right wing R.J. Umberger is back in the lineup against the New York Islanders after he was a healthy scratch the past two games.

Umberger will skate with Nick Foligno and Artem Anisimov in place of right wing Corey Tropp. He leads Columbus with eight power-play goals and is tied for third on the Blue Jackets with 18 goals.

"The way this team's been battling all year, and the last couple of games, it’s hard to watch," Umberger told the Columbus Dispatch on being a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. "I want to be a part of it."

The Blue Jackets are hoping Umberger can help put life into a power play that's 0-for-30 since March 4.

"Obviously (being) the net-front presence and winning puck battles down low," Umberger said. "I know we want to make more plays off the down-low. If I get a chance on the power play, I'm just going to battle as hard as I can, try to make it tough for the goalie and the defensemen and put my big body in there. I'll do what I can do."

The rest of the Blue Jackets' lineup will remain the same, though coach Todd Richards said that right wing Jared Boll is "ready to go." Boll has missed the past 47 games following ankle surgery in December.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will start his 18th straight game for the Blue Jackets.

Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Sunday that Kyle Okposo, considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury, will play. Goalie Evgeni Nabakov will start for New York.

Here are the projected lineups for the Blue Jackets and Islanders:

BLUE JACKETS

Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Nathan Horton

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno - Artem Anisimov - RJ Umberger

Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu - Blake Comeau

Fedor Tyutin - James Wisniewski

Jack Johnson - Dalton Prout

Nikita Nikitin - David Savard

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Corey Tropp, Nick Schultz, Matt Frattin, Jared Boll

Injured: Ryan Murray (knee)

ISLANDERS

Anders Lee - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Josh Bailey - Brock Nelson - Cal Clutterbuck

Matt Martin- Ryan Strome - Colin McDonald

Mike Halmo - Casey Cizikas - Johan Sundstrom

Matt Carkner - Thomas Hickey

Travis Hamonic - Kevin Czuczman

Matt Donovan - Calvin de Haan

Evgeni Nabokov

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Radek Martinek, Eric Boulton

Injured: John Tavares (knee), Michael Grabner (concussion), Lubomir Visnovsky (upper body), Brian Strait (broken hand)

Quote of the Day

It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush. I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent.

— Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in an interview with Washington Post about whether he will be able to play in 2015-16 opener
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