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Game Day Blog: vs. New York Islanders

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

12:30 P.M.

Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson talks with Bob McElligott about tonight's game against the Islanders on Jackets TV:

12:25 P.M.:
: Have you voted for this year's best "glass shattering hit?" Check out the nominees on, and be sure to place your vote below the videos. If you cast your vote, you're entered in a drawing to win an autographed Jack Johnson jersey!

We've featured one of the potential hits below -- and it's R.J. Umberger delivering a huge hit on the Bruins' Milan Lucic on Dec. 10.

12:15 P.M.:
: The Islanders' morning skate just concluded on the main ice and head coach Jack Capuano is meeting with the media as we speak. When the video of his scrum is ready, we will post it on the Game Day page, as well as here in the blog.

One interesting note about New York's roster tonight: rookie defenseman Matt Donovan, recently called up from Bridgeport (AHL) on April 3, will be in the linep for this third NHL game. Donovan, a fourth-round pick (96th overall) of the Islanders in 2008, is the first NHL player to be born, raised, and trained in the state of Oklahoma.

Al Montoya is expected to get the start for the Islanders.

Here's the expected lineup for New York:




11:25 A.M.:
Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards just finished his final morning skate media availability of the season here in the press conference room at Nationwide Arena. We'll have the full transcript (and video) of his comments coming soon, but for now, here are some notable items discussed today:

- Richards said he's most proud of the team's consistency and structure over the final 41 games of the season. Said although the team didn't have "much to play for" after the first month of the season, they stuck together and finished the year on a positive note.

- Asked if the Blue Jackets have met their internal goals for the second half of the year, Richards said with a smile: "We'll find out after the game."

- Steve Mason is tonight's starting goaltender. He will be backed up by Shawn Hunwick.

- Richards said captain Rick Nash skated briefly this morning and "felt good." He added that Nash is "absolutely trying to play this game tonight, and that's his attitude." Nash will take warm-ups with the team prior to the game and get a better idea of how he's feeling at that time. If he still feels good, he will dress for the game.

- Asked which players have shown significant development in their game this year, Richards pointed to rookies John Moore and Cam Atkinson.

11:15 A.M.:
As a reminder, fans -- be sure to "like" the official Blue Jackets Facebook page for a chance to win two (2) glass seats for tonight's game! Check out the picture below...this could be your view for Fan Apprecation Night at Nationwide Arena:

10:20 A.M.:
: The Blue Jackets (pending the status of Rick Nash) will use the same lineup as they did in Thursday night's win over the Avalanche. The defense pairs will remain the same, as well, with Mayorov likely to figure into the top-six forwards this evening.

Here are the projected lines for Columbus:


J. Johnson-Wisniewski
A. Johnson-Prout


10:00 A.M.:
The Blue Jackets are on the ice for their morning skate at Nationwide Arena.There's a good crowd of fans here, as well, taking in the final tune-up for tonight's game. Captain Rick Nash, who suffered an undisclosed injury late in Thursday's game in Denver, skated briefly before the full team session began this morning.

Goaltenders on the ice are Steve Mason and Shawn Hunwick. Mason is expected to make his second straight start between the pipes for Columbus. Maksim Mayorov, recalled late yesterday from Springfield (AHL), is on the ice today as well.

9:45 A.M.:
Fans - be sure to visit the official Blue Jackets Facebook page throughout today and "like" it for your chance to win a pair of glass seats to tonight's game against the Islanders. That's all you have to do for a chance to win! Good luck, and as always, Go Jackets.

9:35 A.M.:
: What better way to kick off the final game day of the year than to read the exclusive preview from Get the scouting report on the up-and-coming Islanders, snippets from the official NHL game notes, and more! Click here.

9:30 A.M.:
Good morning everyone! It's a great day for hockey and we're ready to go here at Nationwide Arena. Tonight is the 82nd and final regular-season contest for the Blue Jackets in the 2011-12 season, and we have TONS planned for our fans on Fan Appreciation Night! First things first - it's time to cover today's morning skate.

Both teams are slated to take the ice (Blue Jackets here in a few minutes, Islanders at 11:30 AM), and the morning skates are open to the public! Come on down to the arena and get a first-hand look at both clubs as they prep for the game.

The Blue Jackets have had some memorable games against the Islanders, including a thrilling overtime win on the Island in November of 2010. Columbus battled back in the third period with R.J. Umberger knotting it up at 3-3, and Jake Voracek supplied the dramatics by scoring the game-winner in overtime.

Keep it locked to the Game Day Blog throughout this beautiful Saturday - you will NOT want to miss what we've got in store for you today!

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