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Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets shut out Islanders in season opener

Panarin gets three assists in debut; Milano, Dubois each scores first NHL goal

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Sergei Bobrovsky picked up Friday where he left off in the 2016-17 regular season, when he won his second Vezina Trophy.

Bobrovsky made 29 saves for his 20th NHL shutout to help the Columbus Blue Jackets defeat the New York Islanders 5-0 at Nationwide Arena in the season opener for each team.

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Blue Jackets highlights]

 

Bobrovsky set the Blue Jackets record for most shutouts, breaking the tie with Steve Mason (2008-13).

"It was an unbelievable atmosphere in the building," Bobrovsky said. "It's great to win this way in front of our fans. I felt pretty good. It's just one game. It's a long season. The process is still going on. This is just the beginning."

Bobrovsky, who had seven shutouts last season, made 11 saves in the third period.

"He wasn't too busy but he made some key saves at key times," Columbus coach John Tortorella said.

Newcomer Artemi Panarin had three assists, and rookies Sonny Milano and Pierre-Luc Dubois each scored his first NHL goal.

Video: NYI@CBJ: Atkinson nets give-and-go with Panarin

Panarin, acquired in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on June 23, became the first player to have three points in his Blue Jackets debut.

Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray and Zach Werenski scored, and Alexander Wennberg had two assists.

Video: NYI@CBJ: Werenski scores PPG to extend lead

The Islanders were 6-0-2 in the preseason but trailed 2-0 in the first period.

"The regular season is a different level," New York captain John Tavares said. "Starting with myself, none of us were good enough tonight."

Milano scored in his eighth NHL game at 1:07 of the first period for a 1-0 lead from a setup by Oliver Bjorkstrand.

"It's definitely a good feeling scoring against the team I grew up watching," said Milano, who is from Massapequa, New York. "They're a great team, so it makes it extra special."

Atkinson, who led Columbus with 35 goals last season, made it 2-0 at 11:02 off a pass from Panarin that went off Atkinson's left skate. The play was reviewed and it was determined Atkinson did not use a distinct kicking motion.

"His skate's off the ice. That's the rule," Islanders coach Doug Weight said. "If you're guiding it and your skate comes off the ice, that's the danger point, right? That's how it was described and now I'm told it doesn't matter.

"That was surprising to me. It hurt us. We didn't react to it as well as we had in the preseason."

Murray's goal on a delayed penalty at 6:57 of the second made it 3-0.

Video: NYI@CBJ: Panarin sets up Murray for one-timer

The Blue Jackets needed 21 seconds on their first power play to make it 4-0 at 10:25 when Werenski put a wrist shot past Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss after a long rebound of a shot by Wennberg. Panarin assisted.

Dubois, the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, scored at 11:50 for a 5-0 lead. Greiss, who made 21 saves, was replaced by Jaroslav Halak, who made 11.

 

Goal of the game

Milano, selected No. 16 in the 2014 NHL Draft, showed quick hands by converting a pass from below the line into a shot that Greiss was not set to stop.

Video: NYI@CBJ: Milano scores his first career NHL goal

 

Save of the game

Tavares gathered a loose puck and through traffic shot from the left circle 9:14 into the second period. Bobrovsky reacted at the last moment and the puck hit him in the chest.

 
Highlight of the game

Dubois took a pass from Seth Jones in the neutral zone and wristed a shot from between the circles.

Video: NYI@CBJ: Dubois scores in his NHL debut

 

They said it

"It doesn't matter who they play against, they have that swagger. It's fun to watch." -- Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on rookies Sonny Milano and Pierre-Luc Dubois scoring their first NHL goal

"They got the first two and we got away from our game and doing what we do well, grinding teams out and trying to make too many plays to get back into the game, and obviously that created too many odd-man rushes for them." -- Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss

"I got lucky. I was able to get used to it in a few preseason games. When I used to come here for Chicago, I wasn't ready for it." -- Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin on the goal cannon at Nationwide Arena
 
 

Need to know

The Islanders are 11-23-11 in season openers, 2-2-1 in their past five but 3-9-3 in the past 15. Columbus is 7-8-2 to open the season, including 4-6-2 at home. … Atkinson has scored in four straight openers.

 

What's next

Islanders: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET; WGN, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets blank Islanders, 5-0

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