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Blue Jackets look to bounce back vs. Islanders

by John Kreiser /

BLUE JACKETS (0-1-0) at ISLANDERS (1-0-0)


Season series: This is the first of four meetings between teams that are now rivals in the new Metropolitan Division but haven't seen each other since the Columbus Blue Jackets won 7-3 at Nationwide Arena in the final game of the 2011-12 regular season. The New York Islanders have won just one of the 14 games between the teams in regulation; they've won three more in overtime or shootouts.

Big story: Both teams opened the seasons Friday night, with vastly different results. The Islanders battled the New Jersey Devils evenly in Newark for 65 minutes before Matt Moulson scored in the sixth round of the shootout for a 4-3 victory. The Blue Jackets played their season-opener in front of a packed house at Nationwide Arena but lost 4-3 to the Calgary Flames.

Team Scope:

Blue Jackets: This wasn't the way the season was supposed to start for Columbus, which has raised expectations after finishing 19-5-5 and barely missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. They failed to take advantage of a Calgary Flames team on the second leg of a back-to-back after blowing a 3-0 lead and losing 5-4 in a shootout at Washington on Thursday. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed third-period goals by Jiri Hudler and Curtis Glencross in a 42-second span, and a late goal by Artem Anisimov left the Blue Jackets a goal short.

"The third period, it was really nervous hockey," said forward Marian Gaborik, whose first-period goal make it 2-2. "We have to execute better and learn from the things we didn't do well today."

Islanders: New York comes home for the start of its penultimate season at the Nassau Coliseum on a high note, Not only are the Islanders coming into the season off their first playoff appearance since 2007, they'll take the ice looking for a Friday-Saturday sweep after outlasting New Jersey in a six-round shootout.

Michael Grabner was the best Islander against the Devils, scoring twice and setting up Frans Nielsen's third-period goal that gave New York a brief 3-2 lead. Surprisingly, the Islanders won without any offensive production from their top line of Moulson, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

"We weren't very good," Tavares said of his line, according to Newsday. "We had some good shifts early but we couldn't get much going. We tried to be too cute at times."

Injury report: Columbus was without defenseman Fedor Tyutin (lower body) and forward Jared Boll (upper body); neither is expected to play on Long Island. Forwards Cody Bass (thumb) and Nathan Horton (shoulder surgery) are out. … The Islanders are without forward Cal Clutterbuck (leg laceration).

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