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Islanders at Blue Jackets preview

New York seeks fourth consecutive victory; Columbus 2-0-1 in past three

by Craig Merz / Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (4-3-0) at BLUE JACKETS (3-3-1)

7 p.m. ET; FS-O, MSG+, NHL.TV


The Game

The New York Islanders look for their fourth straight victory when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.

The Islanders have won three consecutive games despite having allowed the first goal each time, including a 3-1 win at the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. New York has been outscored 8-3 in the first period this season.

The Blue Jackets are 2-0-1 in their past three games after beginning the season 1-3-0; they had won two straight before a 3-2 overtime loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Columbus is 5-1-0 in its past six home games against New York since Dec. 10, 2016, outscoring the Islanders 28-9.


Players to watch

Islanders center Mathew Barzal has five points (three goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak, including two goals Thursday. 

Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson has 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) in 25 games against New York.


They said it

"It's a habit you don't want to get used to but it's about us sticking to our game plan and not getting too rattled." -- Islanders forward Anders Lee on falling behind in games

"I really liked a lot of minutes from a lot of guys. There's a lot to like about our team right now." -- Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno on the 2-0-1 stretch


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Michael Dal Colle

Josh Bailey -- Derick Brassard -- Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin -- Leo Komarov -- Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Noah Dobson, Ross Johnston

Injured: Casey Cizikas (lower body), Jordan Eberle (undisclosed), Andrew Ladd (knee)


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Alexandre Texier -- Alexander Wennberg -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Nick Foligno -- Boone Jenner -- Emil Bemstrom

Jakob Lilja -- Riley Nash -- Sonny Milano

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Ryan Murray -- Markus Nutivaara

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Joonas Korpisalo

Elvis Merzlikins

Scratched: Scott Harrington, Dean Kukan, Markus Hannikainen

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Josh Anderson (upper body)


Status report

Martin may replace Johnston, and Greiss is likely to start after Varlamov played against Winnipeg. … Columbus did not hold a morning skate… Korpisalo is expected to start after Merzlikins made his second NHL start Friday. … Anderson could return after missing five games.


Stat pack

Bailey and Nelson each has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games. ... Nyquist can tie his NHL-best four-game assist streak. … Jenner needs one point for 200 in the NHL.

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