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Gameday: New York Islanders at Columbus Blue Jackets

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The Jackets are back to work after the bye week

NHL: New York Islanders at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey’s back! Did you miss it? I did!

Columbus entered the break with 5 solid performances - or 4.5, at least - but only 3 wins to show for it. Still, if they can keep up that level of play they should win more than they lose.

Unfortunately, yesterday brought us some bad injury news: both Lukas Sedlak and Matt Calvert are on the IR with oblique strains. Sedlak’s is considered day-to-day while Calvert’s is considered week-to-week. Markus Hannikainen has been added on emergency recall, joining Oliver BJORKSTRAND. Joonas Korpisalo has rejoined the team as well, after starting on Wednesday with the Monsters.

Although Brandon Saad practiced on what is technically the fourth line with Sam Gagner and Scott Hartnell, I don’t consider this a demotion. I think Saad’s skill is what that line needs to break Gagner’s cold streak. I also expect Saad to get additional minutes on special teams.

The Islanders, meanwhile, have won 3 straight and 4 of their last 5. They are 12-4-2 under interim coach Doug Weight. A shutout victory over Montreal on Thursday has put them into the second wild card position (though still 11 points behind Columbus in the first wild card position. The Metro is absurd this year.)

Here’s what you need to know:

Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 5:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets, 37-16-5, 79 points, 4th Metro, 4th East

vs.

New York Islanders, 29-21-10, 68 points, 5th Metro, 7th East

Season Series

12/10/16 NYI 2 @ CBJ 6
01/24/17 CBJ 2 @ NYI 4
02/25/17 NYI @ CBJ
03/18/17 CBJ @ NYI

Stats

Islanders Columbus
2.98 (7) GPG 3.19 (5)
2.87 (24) GAPG 2.45(4)
16.1% (25) PP% 22.2% (4)
79.9% (23) PK% 82.2% (11)
47.60% (25) EV Corsi % 50.52% (16)
100.9 (8) EV PDO 101.2 (5)
John Tavares, 23 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 27
Josh Bailey, 31 A Leader Alexander Wennberg, 38
John Tavares, 52 P Leader Cam Atkinson, 50
Travis Hamonic, 49 PIM Leader Josh Anderson, 62
9-13-4 Home / Road 21-9-1
7-3-0 Last 10 5-4-1

Projected Lineups

Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg BJORKSTRAND
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Markus Hannikainen William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Brandon Saad Sam Gagner Scott Hartnell
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Josh Bailey John Tavares Anders Lee
Brock Nelson Anthony Beauvillier Ryan Strome
Jason Chimera Alan Quine Andrew Ladd
Nikolay Kulemin Bracken Kearns Stephen Gionta
Nick Leddy Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan Dennis Seidenberg
Thomas Hickey Scott Mayfield
Thomas Greiss
Jean-Francois Berube