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Islanders, Blue Jackets look to end losing streak

by John Kreiser

ISLANDERS (6-7-3) at BLUE JACKETS (5-10-0)


Last 10: New York 4-5-1; Columbus 3-7-0

Season series: The Metropolitan Division rivals are meeting for the second time. The Columbus Blue Jackets rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to defeat the New York Islanders 3-2 in a shootout at Nassau Coliseum on Oct. 5. The Islanders haven't visited Nationwide Arena since losing 7-3 on the final day of the 2011-12 season.

Big story: The Islanders have dropped back-to-back road games after winning twice last weekend. But the Blue Jackets are in a full-fledged slump: They've lost five in a row and were criticized by their coach for their effort in a 4-2 home loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Islanders: New York managed 21 shots on goal in a 1-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. That's not to say the Islanders didn't have chances; they controlled play for much of the game and attempted 57 shots. However, 23 of them missed the target and 13 were blocked. The Islanders didn't get a shot on goal until their 17th attempt; 10 of the first 16 were fired wide.

The power play has vanished. New York is on an 0-for-21 slide and is 0-for-18 since acquiring Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres for Matt Moulson, who had five power-play goals before the trade.

"We had 19 missed shots after two periods," coach Jack Capuano said after the game. "Obviously that's something we have to work on. We have to hit the net to create chances and get those second and third opportunities and we didn't do that tonight."

Blue Jackets: Coach Todd Richards criticized his team for a poor effort in the loss to the Rangers, a game in which Columbus was outshot 21-10 in the second period. A heavy-on-contact practice Friday was preceded by an extra half-hour of off-ice meetings.

"We were just getting ourselves prepared to go out and have a good day [of practice]," forward Brandon Dubinsky said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. "It took a little longer than usual, but we got better today. We did things to get better before practice and then went out and had a good practice and a hard practice."

Dubinsky also criticized his team's effort in the loss to the Rangers, his former team. He said Friday the Blue Jackets have to put that loss behind them.

"Obviously last night there was a lot of emotion and anger after the game. But the sun came up today," he said. "We've just got to focus on the Islanders and be ready to play the best we can. I'm not going to get into what we did. That's between the team. We took a little longer to prepare for practice, and that's enough that needs to be said. We got better before practice and during practice. It was a good day for us."

Who's hot: Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin has allowed one goal in each of his past two starts. … Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik had an assist Thursday and leads Columbus with 10 points. He had 18 goals in 20 games against the Islanders while playing for the Rangers before being traded in April.

Injury report: New York is without its best offensive defenseman and power-play quarterback, Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion), who's missed three weeks. Defenseman Brian Strait (upper body) is on injured reserve. Forward Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) missed the game against Carolina. … Columbus forwards Boone Jenner (leg) and Matt Calvert (abdominal) are skating on their own but not ready to practice. Forward Nick Foligno (personal reasons) won't play against New York, according to the Dispatch. Forward R.J. Umberger (neck) didn't practice Friday and may sit out. Defenseman Ryan Murray (lower body) scored a goal Thursday but didn't practice Friday.

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