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Game Preview: Milano set to debut as Jackets visit Islanders

by Katie Foglia / Columbus Blue Jackets

The New York Islanders (41-25-9) are currently fighting for their playoff lives, sitting in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with the surging Philadelphia Flyers (37-25-13) only two points behind.  


The Islanders are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and have won their last two — both against the Carolina Hurricanes. On Mar. 26, the Islanders defeated the Hurricanes in overtime at PNC Arena before topping the 'Canes in a shootout three days later.

The Blue Jackets (30-38-8) are 3-7-0 in their last 10, and most recently were bested, 4-1, by the league-leading Washington Capitals on Monday at Verizon Center. The team returned to Columbus and had the day off Tuesday before practicing Wednesday morning and traveling to New York.


The last time these two teams played each other was Feb. 9 at Nationwide Arena, and it was 3-2 shootout victory for the Islanders.

Ryan Strome opened the scoring just 56 seconds into the first period, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead. Later in the frame, at 7:45, Cam Atkinson struck to make it a 1-1 tie.

And at 11:26 of the first, Brandon Dubinsky gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead. The score remained the same through the second period, but Anders Lee scored a power play goal early in the third period to level things up again at 2-2.

In net for the Jackets, Joonas Korpisalo was outstanding, making 44 saves in regulation and overtime. He stopped two in a four-round shootout, and at the other end, Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves for the visitors.

The Blue Jackets are 14-6-6 in the all-time series against the Islanders and 0-2-2 in the 2015-16 campaign. Notable: The Jackets were 7-3-0 in their last 10 versus the Islanders prior to this season.

  

Sonny Milano will be wearing No. 22 tomorrow in his NHL debut against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Make sure you keep an eye on him (or better yet, two eyes: he’s fast).

The 19-year-old was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters on Wednesday morning and practiced at the OhioHealth Ice Haus before traveling with the team to New York. The Massapequa, New York native said he’s excited to make his NHL debut close to home and expects to have plenty of family and friends in attendance.

Milano has 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points in 48 games with the Monsters this season. He netted his first professional goal on Oct. 31 against Charlotte and has heated up as of late, recording 10 points (seven goals and three assists) in his past 15 games with the Monsters.

Columbus selected Milano 16th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. In 58 career AHL games, he has tallied 12-20-32 and 18 penalty minutes since making his professional debut with the Springfield Falcons at the end of the 2014-15 season.

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