BLUE JACKETS 4 | ISLANDERS 3
Jack Johnson Post Game
Ryan Johansen Post Game
Brandon Dubinsky Post Game
Jack Johnson Goal
Ryan Johansen Goal
ANALYSIS: Another solid period for the Jackets but they come out on the trailing end of a 2-1 score after 40 minutes. As of this moment, captain John Tavares has the go-ahead goal on a slick tip of a point shot from Johnny Boychuk. The one thing the Jackets will look to remedy in the third period is spending more time in the offensive zone; they've had some one-and-done chances and have yet to have any sustained shifts in the Islanders' end, but credit to the visitors for being quick to pucks and getting out of danger. One step in the right direction would be to get more pucks deep and put some pressure on the Islanders defensemen...the exits and transition game have been pretty fluid for New York and the Jackets haven't established their forecheck for any length (yet). The shot count reads 18-16 favoring the Blue Jackets but they'll need more of quality and more traffic at the net to tie this game up and eventually forge ahead.
Second Period Highlights
ANALYSIS: If we're going for a one-word summary of that first period, we'll go with "decent." The Islanders scored first, only 2:54 into the game, and it was Eric Boulton getting his first goal of the season by depositing his own rebound on the door step. The Blue Jackets didn't have any noticeable dips or lapses to speak of despite yielding the opening goal, and they came back to tie the game a few minutes later on a nice combination between the Dubinsky-Anisimov-Foligno line (which has been really good lately) and defenseman Dalton Prout. Anisimov got the puck back to the point after some good work down low, and Dubinsky, camped to the side of the net, had Prout's point shot carom off his right leg and behind Jaroslav Halak at 7:06. There were no penalties to speak of (a good start in that regard for Columbus) and the Jackets out-shot the Islanders 9-6 at even strength.
Brandon Dubinsky Goal
First Period Highlights
Alexander Wennberg Pregame
Dalton Prout Pregame
Todd Richards Pregame
UPDATE (11:05 AM): Todd Richards announced that Jack Johnson was ill this morning and was sent home before the morning skate. He will be a game-time decision.
- Marko Dano will be a healthy scratch tonight as Jared Boll returns to the lineup.
"I like the way Jeremy Morin has played an it's a chance for him to go up and play with Wennberg and Hartnell. And it's a chance for a young player who can learn a lot by watching," said Richards. "It's a chance for him to sit and watch. He worked hard today and he'll practice tomorrow and we'll see about Saturday. But to me it's all part of the process."
UPDATE (10:05 AM): Here are the lines from this morning's skate...
- Jack Johnson was absent from the morning skate. The defense pairings rotated with three defensemen at each end of the ice, Justin Falk being the candidate to play tonight should Johnson be unable to play. We will have an update on Johnson's status after the skate.
- Marko Dano appears to be out of the lineup for the first time since being recalled by the team on February 17th. Jeremy Morin took turns on the line with Scott Hartnell and Alexander Wennberg, while Dano sat off to the side with Corey Tropp. Tropp was scratched Tuesday against New Jersey.
- Bobrovsky was in the home net for the morning skate and appears to have the start.
It's another game night at Nationwide Arena!
The Blue Jackets are the hottest team in the NHL with seven straight wins and 11 in their last 13. They will look to extend that winning streak against a team that has given them problems this year, a New York Islanders squad that has won both meetings this year and has been a force to be reckoned with throughout the season in the Metropolitan Division.
The Islanders are currently tied with the Penguins for second in the Metropolitan Division, but they are still eager to pick up the points and clinch their second playoff berth in three years. They remain only one point ahead of the wild card Capitals and seven points ahead of the surging Senators. The Islanders have only two wins in their past nine games, giving tonight's game major implications to the Metropolitan Division standings.
- Jared Boll's suspension has been served and he is eligible to return to the lineup tonight. We will have an update on his status for tonight's lineup during the morning skate.
- John Tavares enters the game tonight tied for second in league scoring. His 77 points are three behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league lead.
- Sergei Bobrovsky is expected in goal again tonight, his seventh straight start. Bobrovsky was 10-2-0 in March.