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Game Preview: Islanders vs Blue Jackets

The Isles get set for a Metro Division clash with the Blue Jackets (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (23-8-3) VS COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (16-14-6)

7 PM | NYCB LIVE | BUY TICKETS

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM 


The Islanders are coming off of a 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim on Saturday afternoon at NYCB Live. The Isles got a pair of power-play goals from Brock Nelson and Ryan Pulock, while Anders Lee, Nick Leddy and Mathew Barzal also scored. Seven total Islanders - including all the goal scorers - registered multi-point showings. Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves, but the Isles let the extra point get away from them in their first shootout loss this season.  

Columbus has won its last four games. The Blue Jackets most recently defeated New Jersey 5-1 on Saturday night. Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, Zach Werenski and Gustav Nyquist scored shorthanded while Vladislav Gavrikov also scored. Joonas Korpisalo made 21 saves.  



MORNING SKATE UPDATE:

- Thomas Greiss was the first goaltender off and is the projected starter against Columbus. Greiss would be making his 17th start of the season. The German netminder has a record of 11-5-0, a 2.39 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. 

- Joonas Korpisalo will start tonight in net for the Blue Jackets. Korpisalo has a record of 16-10-3 this season and has made 28 starts. 

- David Savard will return in the lineup after missing two games due to illness. The defenseman has five assists through 34 games this season. 

- Nathan Gerbe will replace Oliver Bjorkstrand in the lineup as Bjorkstrand is estimated to be sidelined for four to six weeks with a rib injury he sustained in the third period against New Jersey. Gerbe will make his season debut for Columbus. 


ISLES NOTES: 

- Lee opened scoring up for the Isles with his 10th goal of the season. The captain also had an assist. Through 34 games this season, Lee has 21 points.  

- Nelson scored his 13th goal of the season (which doubled as his third power-play goal), dished an assist and was plus-one in the matinee. Through 34 games this season, the center has 28 points and is tied with Barzal with a team-high 15 assists. Nelson has five points in his last four games with five points (2G, 3A) in that span.  

- Barzal scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season and had an assist on the game. Barzal leads the Isles in goals and points (30) and is tied with Nelson for the leaderboard in assists (15). The center has goals in back-to-back games.  

- Leddy scored his third goal of the season. The blueliner has 14 points (3G, 14A) through 26 games this season. Leddy registered a team-high three points (1G, 2A) throughout the evening, his third, three-point game of the season.  

- Pulock found the back of the net for the fifth time this year and recorded his second power-play goal. The defenseman has 18 points (5G, 13A) through 34 games this season, which leads all Isles blueliners.  

- Barzal and Pulock each suited up for their 200th career games. Barzal has 177-career points (55G, 122A) and Pulock has 91-career points (26G, 65A).  

- Varlamov made his 18th start between the pipes and the first consecutive start of the season which snapped the Isles goalie rotation at 33 games. The rotation was the longest streak in Isles history and the seventh-longest streak in NHL history; behind San Jose who rotated netminders for the first 35 games during the 2006-07 season. the longest team since the Sharks in 2006-07 alternated starting goalies for each of the first 35 games of the season.  

- Varlamov stopped two of the four shots he faced in the shootout. The Russian netminder is the best in NHL history among goalies who have faced at least 100 shots with his .745 save percentage in shootouts. Varlamov has a record of 12-3-3 this season, a 2.47 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.  

- The Isles scored two power-play goals and improved their conversion percentage to 10th in the NHL at 21.9%. The Isles are 10-2-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 13-6-2 when they do not.   

- Cal Clutterbuck underwent wrist surgery on Friday night after catching a skate to his wrist against Boston. The winger is out indefinitely. Andrew Ladd was recalled from Bridgeport in Clutterbuck's return, but did not play against Anaheim. 

- Michael Dal Colle participated in a full-contact practice on Sunday. Dal Colle sustained an upper-body injury against Buffalo on Dec. 14.


Video: Practice 12/22: Andrew Ladd 


BLUE JACKETS NOTES: 

- Bjorkstrand scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season. The winger is riding a four-game point streak with seven points (5G, 2A) during that span. Through 36 games this season, Bjorkstrand has 23 points.  

- Werenski scored his eighth goal of the season and first shorthanded goal. The blueliner has goals in back-to-back games. Through 29 games this season, Werenski has 19 points. Werenski missed seven games with an upper-body injury that he sustained from Lee when playing the Islanders on Nov. 30.  

- Nyquist scored his ninth goal of the season and first shorthanded tally. Nyquist is riding a five-game point streak with seven points (2G, 5A) during that span. The center leads the Blue Jackets in points with 26 (9G, 17A) through 36 games this season. 

- Gavrikov found the back of the net for the third time this season. The defenseman has five points through 35 games this year.  

- Korpisalo earned his 16th win of the season has he made his 28th start. The netminder has a record of 16-10-3, a 2.56 GAA and a .910 SV%.

- The Blue Jackets two shorthanded goals were their second and third shorthanded goals of the season. Columbus' penalty kill is ranked 17th overall with at 80.5%. 

- Jones recorded two assists against New Jersey. The blueliner has a team-high 18 assists. Through 36 games this season, Jones has four goals and 22 points. Jones has a three-game point streak with five points during that span. Across the NHL, Jones ranks fifth with his average time on ice per game at 25:19.  

- The Blue Jackets have battled the injury bug this season. Josh Anderson (upper-body injury retroactive Dec. 17), Andrew Peeke (upper-body injury retroactive Dec. 19), Ryan Murray (lower-body injury retroactive Dec. 20) have all been placed on injured reserve. Cam Atkinson left CBJ's game against Los Angeles on Dec. 19 with a lower-body injury and did not return. Atkinson did not play against New Jersey. Brandon Dubinsky has yet to suit up for a game after being sidelined with a wrist injury.  


Video: Lee, Barzal score in 2-0 win vs. Blue Jackets


ISLES VS. BLUE JACKETS: 

The Isles have won both meetings this season against Columbus. The Islanders snatched the first meeting with a 3-2 overtime result on Oct. 19 at Nationwide Arena. Brock Nelson scored 33 seconds into overtime while Mathew Barzal and Michael Dal Colle scored in regulation. Thomas Greiss made 34 saves.  

The Isles blanked Columbus 2-0 on Nov. 30 at Barclays Center. Lee and Barzal scored while Greiss made nine saves before removing himself from the game due to dizziness. Varlamov stepped in and turned aside 30 shots for the joint shutout. 

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