Skip to main content
The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Game Preview: Islanders at Blue Jackets

The Islanders look to stay ahead in the playoff race when they take on Columbus (5 p.m., MSG 2)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

New York Islanders (29-21-10) at Columbus Blue Jackets (37-16-5)

5 p.m. Nationwide Arena

TV: MSG 2

Radio: AM970 - The Answer, 88.7FM - WRHU, 103.9FM - LI News

The Islanders are 2-0 on their nine-game road trip and look to close out the first leg with a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday evening. 

The Islanders (68 points) enter Saturday's game in a playoff spot, a remarkable feat considering they were last in the Eastern Conference on Jan. 18. The Boston Bruins also have 68 points, but the Islanders hold the first tie-breaker (games played). 

The team's turnaround coincided with Doug Weight's appointment as Interim Head Coach on Jan. 17. In the 18 games with Weight at the helm, the Islanders are 12-4-2, while the top line of John Tavares, Anders Lee and Josh Bailey have combined for 50 points (21G, 29A). 

Go back slightly further and since Jan. 13, Tavares is tied with Nicklas Backstrom with the most points in the NHL (25). Tavares is riding a three-game goal streak and has four points (3G, 1A) in his last three games. Bailey has four points (1G, 3A) in his last two games, setting new career highs for assists (31) and points (43) in the process. 

Lineup Notes:

Shane Prince practiced with the Islanders on Friday and could be available according to NHL.com's Craig Merz. Prince has missed six games with an upper-body injury. Cal Clutterbuck is expected to be out with a lower-body injury. 

PROJECTED LINES:
FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
ANDERS LEE JOHN TAVARES JOSH BAILEY
BROCK NELSON ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER RYAN STROME
ANDREW LADD ALAN QUINE JASON CHIMERA
SHANE PRINCE STEPHEN GIONTA NIKOLAY KULEMIN
DEFENSE
LEFT RIGHT
NICK LEDDY JOHNNY BOYCHUK
THOMAS HICKEY SCOTT MAYFIELD
CALVIN DE HAAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG

 

Blue Jackets Notes: 

The Blue Jackets are 5-4-1 in 10 games since the all-star break and are coming off their five-day bye week. That bodes well for the Islanders, as teams coming off of bye weeks are 4-12-4 overall. 

The Islanders and Blue Jackets are 1-1 this season, with the home team taking each contest. 

Matt Calvert (oblique) will miss Saturday's game, while Lukas Sedlak was placed on injured reserve on Friday. Sergei Bobrovsky is the likely starter for Columbus. 

PROJECTED BLUE JACKETS LINES:
FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
NICK FOLIGNO ALEXANDER WENNBERG OLIVER BJORKSTRAND
BOONE JENNER BRANDON DUBINSKY CAM ATKINSON
MARKUS HANNIKAINEN WILLIAM KARLSSON JOSH ANDERSON
BRANDON SAAD SAM GAGNER SCOTT HARTNELL
DEFENSE
LEFT RIGHT
ZACH WERENSKI SETH JONES
JACK JOHNSON DAVID SAVARD
RYAN MURRAY MARKUS NUTIVAARA
View More