BLUE JACKETS VS. ISLANDERS
SUNDAY, 6 P.M.
POST GAME LIVE
FINAL: JACKETS 4 | ISLANDERS 0
WATCH: Second period highlights | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: Matt Frattin 2nd intermission interview | LISTEN
WATCH: Ryan Murray 2nd period PPG | CLICK TO WATCH
SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets finally picked up the slack (kidding) and scored an even strength goal in the second period, and after a power play marker from Ryan Murray, they lead 4-0 after two periods at Nationwide Arena. That's three power play goals on the day (Jenner, Johnson, Murray) to back up the 5-on-5 tally by Mark Letestu midway through the second period, and the Jackets have been efficient offensively thus frar. They've scored their four goals on 22 shots, and have capitalized on their high-quality chances. Would like to see a little more of their forechecking game in the third period.
GAME AUDIO: Ryan Murray 2nd period PP goal | LISTEN
WATCH: Mark Letestu 2nd period goal | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: It's a PARTY! Letestu gets in on the action, and we're up 3-0! | LISTEN
WATCH: First Period Highlights | CLICK TO PLAY
GAME AUDIO: Boone Jenner 1st intermission interview | LISTEN
FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets wanted to come out and set the tempo early in this game, and thanks to a couple of power play goals, they've done that after 20 minutes at Nationwide Arena. Aside from the PPGs, the Jackets have done a good job getting pucks in deep and working the Islanders defense, forcing turnovers and ultimately drawing a couple of penalties that led to the opportunities. There have been some anxious moments around the Columbus net thanks to a couple of lengthy shifts by the Islanders, but no harm done in the opening frame. Shots are 13-10 in favor of the Jackets, two of those goals from Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson.
WATCH: Jack Johnson 1st period PP goal | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: We scored another PP goal in the first -- this time from Jack Johnson! | LISTEN
WATCH: Boone Jenner's 1st period PP goal | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: Boone Jenner puts us on the board first! 1-0, Jackets. | LISTEN
WATCH: Pre-game interviews from - RICHARDS | ATKINSON | PROUT UPDATE (10:00 AM):
Here are tonight's lines and pairs for the Blue Jackets...
Jenner - Johansen - Frattin
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Atkinson
Calvert - Letestu - Comeau
Umberger - MacKenzie - Boll
Tyutin - Wisniewski
Johnson - Prout
Murray - Savard
The Blue Jackets had the day off Saturday and they're back at Nationwide Arena for a Sunday match-up with the New York Islanders. Due to the 6pm start time, the Blue Jackets' morning skate will start and 9:30 a.m., and we'll have complete coverage for you here at Game Day Central. Also, look for lineup changes, thoughts on the match-up against the Islanders, storylines from the other side and an interview with coach Todd Richards. Stay tuned to this page for the latest!
The Blue Jackets got Ryan Murray back in their lineup on Friday night against the Chicago Blackhawks - which would qualify as good news - and they're awfully close to having all their defensemen healthy as they enter a critical final week of the regular season.
Nikita Nikitin, who has missed the last couple of games due to a lower body injury, has been skating but his status is unknown for Sunday's game. Neither Nikitin or Nick Schultz played in Friday's game.
Between the pipes, no decision has been announced on a starting goaltender.
Saturday's slate of games - including a Toronto loss at home to Winnipeg and a Detroit loss to Montreal - have the door ajar for the Blue Jackets, representing a large opportunity at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets own a one-point lead on the second wild card spot with the Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils within a point, and Sunday's game against the Islanders would qualify as a "game in hand." As the saying goes: games in hand only matter if you win them, and a win over the Islanders would be a significant boost to the Jackets' playoff hopes.
All the Blue Jackets need to do is look back to the last time they played the Islanders, and it was two weeks ago Sunday at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Nevermind that it was one of their worst performances since the Olympic break, but it allowed other teams to play catch-up on the Jackets and forced them to collect points on the road (which they did in Montreal, Carolina and Philadelphia to name a few).
If the Blue Jackets can turn the tables on the Islanders on Sunday, they'd have a much clearer picture of what they'll need to do in the final week of the season - a five-day jaunt that is anything but a cakewalk.
Step one is Sunday's game and all the Blue Jackets can do is take care of their own business. They have let a few points slip away on home ice of late, and a great start to the closing week would be to pick up two points against a Metro Division opponent like the Islanders, who played a part in the Jackets stubbing their toes two weeks back.
VS. PHOENIX COYOTES
TUESDAY, 7 P.M.