BLUE JACKETS 3 | ISLANDERS 6
The Blue Jackets keep hanging around in this one, out-shot heavily but not out-worked to this point — and that’s the reason we’re tied 3-3 after 40 minutes at the Nassau Coliseum. They had to fight back once again, as Ryan Strome gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead on a play that resulted from a Blue Jackets turnover on the breakout, but the visitors stuck with it (again), killed a penalty (they’re 4-for-4 tonight in that regard) and got a huge goal late in the period from Nick Foligno, his team-leading 22nd of the season. Anton Forsberg has been very good and had to be in the second period, a period in which the Islanders took 17 shots — giving them 34 on the night, which means the young Columbus netminder has 31 saves through two periods. The Blue Jackets have to summon some energy on the second night of a back-to-back here, keep the game 5-on-5 and go to work in the offensive zone much like they did last night in their OT win over the Flyers.
Nick Foligno Goal
ANALYSIS: The first period was quite the roller coaster for the Blue Jackets, who fell behind in an early 2-0 hole and were being dominated at times by the New York Islanders. But midway through the first period, the game slowed down for Columbus and a clutch pair of penalty kills helped them get settled in. After Josh Bailey scored his second goal of the period, the Blue Jackets answered with goals from Brandon Dubinsky on a 2-on-1 rush and, late in the period, Cam Atkinson pounced on a turnover and scored five-hole on Jaroslav Halak to pull the Jackets all square at 2-2. Anton Forsberg had a bit of rocky start when the Jackets were under siege, but he steadied just like his team did and it's a brand new hockey game with the second period coming up.
Brandon Dubinsky Goal
Cam Atkinson Goal
UPDATE (4:45 P.M.): Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards just met with the media at Nassau Coliseum...
- Anton Forsberg will start in goal tonight for Columbus. His last start was a 4-1 loss on Feb. 3 to the Arizona Coyotes at Nationwide Arena.
- No other lineup changes for the Blue Jackets, Richards said. That means Brian Gibbons and Dalton Prout aren't quite ready to return. Jordan Leopold will be the lone healthy scratch.
Back to work, folks!
The Blue Jackets stormed back in the third period last night to top the Flyers in overtime. Trailing 3-1 in the third period, the Blue Jackets responded with goals from Jared Boll and Cam Atkinson to tie the score. Artem Anisimov buried a rebound in overtime to give the Jackets their first win this season when trailing entering the third period. It was the first time the Jackets had overcome a two-goal deficit at Nationwide Arena since Dec. 10, 2013 against the New Jersey Devils.
Now the focus shifts to the Islanders, the top team in the Metropolitan Division and winners of three straight games. The Islanders keep find ways to win and are a tough out at home, where they are 19-6-0. Their 36 wins are tied for second in the NHL.
Here are your pre-game nuggets:
- The Blue Jackets will forgo a morning skate today after last night's overtime win and a late flight to Long Island.
- The Jackets' win last night was a streak-buster in more ways than one. It was Columbus' first win this season in 21 tries when trailing entering the third period (they were 0-20-0). Brandon Dubinsky scored his first goal in nine games, Artem Anisimov's overtime winner was his first goal in 21 games dating back to the home opener. Jared Boll's streak was the longest, as his third period goal was his first of the season and his first in 63 games dating back to Nov. 12 of last year.
- Dalton Prout is epxected out of the lineup for this weekend with an upper-body injury. James Wisniewski had an assist last night on the overtime winner in his return to the lineup.
- The Blue Jackets failed to score on the power play last night, and are now one for their last 20 with the man advantage. They've only drawn six penalties in the last five games, something they'd like to fix against the 30th-ranked Islanders penalty kill.
- Curtis McElhinney was solid again last night for Columbus and has started four straight games. Anton Forsberg skated this morning in Uniondale, but there has been no official update (yet) on tonight's starter. Todd Richards will provide official word around 4:30 p.m. when he meets the media pre-game.