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

Game Preview: Islanders vs. Blue Jackets

The Islanders host the Columbus Blue Jackets in matinee action (1 p.m., MSG+)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

New York Islanders (33-26-11) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (45-18-6)

1 p.m., Barclays Center, Buy Tickets

TV: MSG+

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

ISLANDERS PROJECTED LINES:
FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
ANDERS LEE JOHN TAVARES JOSH BAILEY
ANDREW LADD BROCK NELSON JOSH HO-SANG
NIKOLAY KULEMIN ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER JASON CHIMERA
CASEY CIZIKAS RYAN STROME CAL CLUTTERBUCK
DEFENSE
LEFT RIGHT
NICK LEDDY ADAM PELECH
CALVIN DE HAAN TRAVIS HAMONIC
DENNIS SEIDENBERG SCOTT MAYFIELD
The Standings:

The New York Islanders (77 points) wake up Saturday one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs (78 points) for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Leafs have a game in hand on the Islanders, who are also tied in points with the Tampa Bay Lightning (77 points). 

All three teams are in action Saturday, as the Leafs host the Chicago Blackhawks and the Lightning host the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m.

The Islanders are coming off a 4-2 loss to Winnipeg and have lost three of their last four overall, but Interim head coach Doug Weight said the Islanders are in a good position, but need to win Saturday. 

"It's like a bike race, so there were seven teams a week ago and now there's three. We're in the separation game right now," Weight said. "Tomorrow we need a win and we'll see what happens around the league, but there's 12 games left and we're in a really good spot and we just have to get some consistency back.

Cizikas Off IR:

Casey Cizikas was activated off the Islanders injured reserve on Friday afternoon. 

Cizikas has been out since Feb. 21 (11 games) with an upper-body injury suffered against the Detroit Red Wings. 

"I feel good right now, physically and mentally," Cizikas said. "I feel personally ready to go and it's just up to the coaches now. I've had a good couple of days of practice, a couple of bag skates and now I'm just itching to get back."

The center's activation comes hours after Interim Coach Doug Weight said he was "questionable to probable" to play on Saturday against Columbus. 

"I feel good about it, he's pretty much ready to go," Weight said. "I'd expect him to be in." 

Cizikas has seven goals and 23 points in 53 games this season and averages the most shorthanded ice time per game (2:11) of any Islanders forwards. Cizikas has also taken (772) and won (384) the second-most face-offs on the team.

Video: Condensed Game: Blue Jackets @ Islanders

Isles vs. Blue Jackets:

The Islanders and Blue Jackets meet for the fourth and final time this season on Saturday. This series has favored the home team this season, with the Isles beating the Jackets 4-2 on Jan. 24, but the Blue Jackets beating the Isles 6-2 and 7-0 in Columbus. 

The 7-0 game is still in the Islanders minds as they look for some revenge on Saturday. 

"You don't forget a game like that," Anders Lee said. "When you not only get shut out, but also get shelled, so that's definitely in our minds."

The Isles are 8-0-3 in their last 11 home games against the Jackets and are 3-0-0 at Barclays Center.

Blue Jackets Notes:

The Blue Jackets are coming in hot, having won five or their last six games. Columbus (96 points) is all-but-assured a playoff spot, but are playing for home-ice advantage, as the Blue Jackets sit one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins with a game in hand. 

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