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Game Preview: Islanders at Blue Jackets

The Islanders and Blue Jackets meet in a key Metropolitan Division matchup

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (33-17-6) AT COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (32-20-3)

7 PM | NATIONWIDE ARENA

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO | NHL.TV

LISTEN: 88.7FM WRHU | 103.9FM LI NEWS | RADIO.COM/ISLANDERS


SEASON SERIES: NYI LEADS 1-0-0

The Islanders beat the Blue Jackets 3-2 on Dec. 1, the Isles return to NYBC Live - Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders rallied out of a 2-0 hole for a 3-2 comeback win. Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier and Casey Cizikas scored, while Scott Mayfield and Jordan Eberle each recorded two assists. 

The teams meet again on March 11 at NYCB Live and conclude their series on March 26 in Columbus. 


Video: Morning Skate: NYI Vs CBJ 2/14
ISLANDERS NOTES: 

-   The Islanders (72 points) are three points ahead of the Washington Capitals (69 points) and five points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Pittsburgh Penguins (67 points).

With both the Islanders and Blue Jackets near the top of the Metro, Thursday's game has seeding implications and is the proverbial four-point game. A win extends the Isles lead over the Blue Jackets to seven points, while a regulation loss closes that gap to three points. 

-   The Islanders lost their most recent outing 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres. The loss snapped the Isles three-game winning streak and was the team's second regulation loss in five games (3-2-0). Overall, the Islanders are 9-2-2 in their last 13 contests. 

-   Casey Cizikas scored his 13th goal of the season on Tuesday, adding to what was already a career-high. Cizikas has 23 points this season and is six points shy of matching his career high (29) set during the 2015-16 season. 

-   The Islanders have scored one or fewer goals in four of their last seven games (not including shootout winners). 

-   Nationwide Arena has not been a friendly place to the Islanders, who are 0-4-0 over the past two seasons. Columbus has outscored the Islanders 24-6 over that span. 

-   Cal Clutterbuck returned to the Islanders lineup on Tuesday after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. Tom Kuhnhackl came out of the lineup for Clutterbuck's return. 

- Anders Lee is set to play his 400th career game tonight - all with the Islanders. Lee has 245 points (142G, 103A) in 399 career games and the Isles captain leads the team with 18 goals this season. 


BLUE JACKETS NOTES: 

-   The Blue Jackets have won four straight games and currently sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division (67 points), five points behind the Islanders. 

-   Artemi Panarin leads the Blue Jackets in assists (42) and points (64), while Cam Atkinson leads the team with 31 goals and is second in points (54). 

-   Panarin's future with Columbus is murky, as the team's leading scorer has reportedly shut down contract talks until after the season. Panarin will hit unrestricted free agency if he is not signed before July 1.

-   Sergei Bobrovsky is also in the last year of his contract and could hit unrestricted free agency this summer. Bobrovsky is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and is 199-122-27 in his seven years in Columbus. Bobrovsky has won four straight games heading into Thursday's game.

- The Blue Jackets have the league's second-ranked penalty kill at 84.2%. 


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