The Blue Jackets were shut out for just the third time this season, as Columbus (32-21-3) saw its four-game winning streak end Thursday night against the first-place New York Islanders (34-17-6).
Game in a Paragraph
One game after perhaps the Jackets' best performance of the season, the team wasn't as sharp against the Islanders. A pair of a breakaway goals by Casey Cizikas in the first two periods made it 2-0, and a late goal in the second gave New York a comfortable lead. The Isles bunkered down in the third and left with the win and their seventh shutout of the season.
Video: NYI@CBJ: Bobrovsky denies Martin on one-timer
Quote of the Game
Zach Werenski: "They're just a solid team all the way through their lineup. Everyone blocks shots, everyone plays hard defensively, they capitalize on their chances. Everyone works hard. They're a good hockey team. I thought for a number of minutes we had some good chances, some good looks. Their D fronts a lot of shots, their goalie stood tall, but we have to find a way to get pucks behind them and score more than no goals."
New York started with some jump and controlled the first few minutes, with the Islanders' strong play capped by Cizikas' goal at 7:06. After a Blue Jackets chance in the offensive zone, Cal Clutterbuck spotted Cizikas behind the defense and fed him on a breakaway with a stretch pass, and Cizikas deked Sergei Bobrovsky and scored.
Columbus had some great chances from there, as the Jackets kept the Islanders from getting a shot over the next 10 minutes. Nick Foligno fed Josh Anderson for a shorthanded breakaway but Thomas Greiss made the stop, and an odd-man rush later saw Greiss stone Zach Werenski's shot to the glove side.
History repeated itself in the second as Cizikas scored on another breakaway. Again the Jackets were pressing in the offensive zone, and this time it was Devon Toews who spotted Cizikas behind the defense, and this time the center went five-hole to beat Bobrovsky at 5:50.
Columbus had some chances later in the second -- Artemi Panarin hit the side of the net after Greiss stopped Seth Jones, and Riley Nash had Greiss out of the net after a weird bounce off the boards but also fired wide -- before the Islanders made it 3-0. A shot by Tom Kuhnkackl deflected right to Josh Bailey, who batted it home with just 40.2 seconds left in the second period.
Columbus' best chance in the third came when Scott Harrington's point blast rode up over Greiss and landed in the crease, but the Isles' goalie got his toe to the post to stop Cam Atkinson's follow-up try with seven minutes left. Markus Nutivaara also missed an open net on a nice feed inside the final minute.
Video: Torts gives credit to the Islanders
By the Numbers
Columbus lost at home on a Thursday for the first time all season. … Greiss had an assist on Cizikas' first-period goal. … New York now leads the season series 2-0. … Columbus had won four in a row in Nationwide Arena against the Islanders. … Columbus stopped two NY power plays and has allowed just 13 power-play goals since Nov. 1. … Jones and Anderson saw four-game point streaks end. ... The Blue Jackets fell seven points behind the Isles at the top of the Metropolitan Division.
Video: CBJ Recap: Blue Jackets stymied by Greiss in 3-0 loss
Columbus kept the same lineup as the team used in the past three games. Scratches included injured center Brandon Dubinsky, winger Eric Robinson and defenseman Dean Kukan.
The Blue Jackets leave Metropolitan Division play Saturday night for an 8:30 game on the road at Chicago.