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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Blue Jackets

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

BLUE JACKETS (41-35-5) at ISLANDERS (47-28-6)

TV: NHLN-US, FS-O, MSG+

Season series:
The New York Islanders have gained five of six points, going 2-0-1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. New York captain John Tavares has three goals and six points, and rookie Anders Lee has a goal and five points for the Islanders. Columbus forwards Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky each has two goals and an assist.

Blue Jackets team scope:
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who has started the past 11 games for Columbus, is expected to start. He made 23 saves in a 4-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Columbus has won 14 of 16 games (14-1-1) and is 8-0-1 in its past nine road games. Foligno has five goals in six games. "It's going to be a tough game," Foligno told the Blue Jackets website. "[The Islanders] battling to continue to just play well and also it's their last game in [Nassau Coliseum], so a lot of emotions should get us excited for the game." Columbus knows it will have its hands full with one of the NHL scoring leaders. "They have a guy by the name of John Tavares that's leading the scoring race," defenseman Dalton Prout said. "That's going to be a job of ours to shut him down."

Islanders team scope:
New York will play the final regular-season home game at Nassau Coliseum after 43 years. "Obviously it's our last game," coach Jack Capuano told MSG after a 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. "There's a lot of history in that building. It's going to be a great night." A win could clinch home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals, if the Capitals lose earlier in the day to the New York Rangers. "It's nice that this game still means something," forward Michael Grabner said. "[Saturday] is another big one. We want to clinch home ice and get the best advantage possible for the playoffs." Defenseman Travis Hamonic left the game Friday after being injured in first period and is questionable. "We have to really concern ourselves with the health of our hockey club," Capuano said. "We have a lot of guys who are banged up. We will see what guys can play [Saturday]." Tavares has a five-game point streak (three goals, seven assists) and is tied with Penguins forward Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead with 84 points.

New York Islanders
47-28-6 (100 points – 3rd in Metropolitan Division, 5th in Eastern Conference)
25-14-4 home
Columbus Blue Jackets
41-35-5 (87 points - 5th in Metropolitan Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)
22-15-3 road
7:00  p.m.
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

Television:
MSG+
Play-by-play: Howie Rose
; Color: Butch Goring
Channel Finder

Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders News:
- Postgame Video (Apr. 10)
- Islanders 3, Penguins 1 (Apr. 10)

What's Happening at the Coliseum:
- Lower Lobby: 5 p.m.; Doors Open: 5:45 p.m.
- Ceremony for last regular season game at Nassau Coliseum
Islanders player to watch
Michael Grabner - Forward

Michael Grabner returned to the lineup Tuesday and returned to the scoresheet Friday, netting the insurance goal in the Islanders 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Grabner used his trademark speed to wheel around Ian Cole before beating Marc-Andre Fleury glove side. Grabner is always a threat to use his speed and has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 33 games this season.
Blue Jackets player to watch
Nick Foligno - Forward

Nick Foligno is finishing a career season strong, extending his point streak to six games. Foligno has five goals and three assists over that span, bringing his season totals up to 31 goals, 42 assists and 73 points – all career highs. Foligno’s current six-game streak is his fourth this season. He has two goals and an assist in three games against the Islanders this season.

New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards
86 Nikolay Kulemin - 91 John Tavares - 18 Ryan Strome
27 Anders Lee - 12 Josh Bailey - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 29 Brock Nelson - 15 Cal Clutterbuck
36 Eric Boulton - 53 Casey Cizikas - 26 Tyler Kennedy

Defensemen
37 Brian Strait - 3 Travis Hamonic
2 Nick Leddy - 55 Johnny Boychuk
14 Thomas Hickey - 11 Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltenders
41 Jaroslav Halak
30 Michal Neuvirth

Columbus Blue Jackets previous game lines
Forwards
13 Cam Atkinson - 19 Ryan Johansen - 38 Boone Jenner
17 Brandon Dubinsky - 42 Artem Anisimov - 71 Nick Foligno
43 Scott Hartnell - 41 Alexander Wennberg - 56 Marko Dano
11 Matt Calvert - 55 Mark Letestu - 9 Jeremy Morin

Defensemen
7 Jack Johnson - 58 David Savard
27 Ryan Murray - 29 Cody Goloubef
51 Fedor Tyutin - 47 Dalton Prout

Goaltenders:
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
30 Curtis McElhinney


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