ISLANDERS 2 | BLUE JACKETS 0
The Blue Jackets' margin for error is dwindling as the number of games remaining does the same, and they can ill afford another stumble like they had on Long Island today.
FINAL: ISLANDERS 2 | JACKETS 0
In two games against non-playoff teams Carolina and the Islanders, the Blue Jackets have racked up 88 combined shots on goal and have but one goal to show for it. Their power play is stuck in an 0-for-35 rut and they're struggling to sustain offensive zone time at even strength, and it's putting a ton of pressure and their defense and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who made his 18th consecutive start this afternoon.
With 11 games to go, the Blue Jackets need to get themselves back on track and in short order.
They fired 41 shots at Evgeni Nabokov today but a small chunk of that number could go into the "scoring opportunity" category, and the Blue Jackets' biggest push came when they were down 2-0 in the third period. The Islanders took a late first-period lead on a goal from old friend Cal Clutterbuck, and they got a huge goal late in the second period on the power play from Travis Hamonic, who skated through the parted seas for a coast-to-coast goal.
One could appropriately say it's gut-check time for these Blue Jackets, who have made a habit of thriving on their resiliency and doing their best work with their backs against the wall. That time is now, and Tuesday night's game at home against the Detroit Red Wings carries some serious implications.
Looking back at the second period, how different could this game have been if the Jackets are down just 1-0 entering the third period? It's hard to say, given that they didn't score a goal, but the Hamonic power play goal was a huge moment in the game.
1. EVGENI NABOKOV (NYI)
Many of the shots Nabokov faced were from the perimeter and/or from distance, but he was solid between the pipes and earned a 41-save shutout.
2. TRAVIS HAMONIC (NYI)
Hamonic played a solid all-around game and was rewarded with the insurance marker late in the second period.
3. CAL CLUTTERBUCK (NYI)
Clutterbuck was credited with the game-winning goal, scored way back in the first period.
VS. DETROIT RED WINGS
TUESDAY, 7 P.M.