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Game 26: Blue Jackets hope to prolong Islanders’ losing streak

Columbus skates into Brooklyn to take on a streaking Islanders team.

New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 7:00 EST
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Cleveland Monsters vs Rochester Americans, SportsTime Ohio, 7:00 pm
Opponent’s Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets (11-10-4, 26 points, 7th Metro, 13th East)


New York Islanders (16-5-2, 34 points, 2nd Metro, 3rd East)

Saturday night in Brooklyn features a critical Metropolitan Division matchup between the Blue Jackets and Islanders.

Columbus took on the Penguins Friday night in Columbus, winning 5-2 behind a hat trick from Gustav Nyquist and two goals by Nick Foligno. Joonas Korpisalo was in the net, stopping 29 shots, and likely setting the way for Elvis Merzlikins to get the start tonight. The Blue Jackets are on a bit of a roll, with wins in five of their last seven games.

Meanwhile on the other end, the Islanders, amongst the hottest teams in the league through Thanksgiving, dropped their last game in Los Angeles, falling to the Kings on Wednesday, 4-1.

Back in October, the Blue Jackets and Islanders played into overtime at Nationwide Arena, a game the Blue Jackets came out on the shorthand of, 3-2, despite 36 shots and winning 63% of their face-offs. Joonas Korpisalo started, and the Jackets got goals from Seth Jones and Boone Jenner. New York’s goals came from Mathew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle, and Brock Nelson’s overtime game-winner came 33 seconds in. Thomas Greiss won the game stopping 32 shots. There was only one power play chance in the game that went to Columbus, but failed to convert.

Player to Watch

Oliver Bjorkstrand (six goals, nine assists, 15 points) has been one of the more consistent scorers for Columbus of late. He comes into play tonight on a six-game points streak (two goals, seven assists). In 13 career games against the Islanders, Bjorkstrand has 13 career points (three goals, seven assists) and had one goal in four games last year versus New York.

Jackets Notes

After another two goals on the power play last night (2-for-4), the Jackets are 10th in the league on the man-advantage (20.7%), and fifth in the league for the month of November (27.3%). ... Columbus goes for their first win on the road since Nov. 7 at the Coyotes. ... Struggling Cam Atkinson saw his ice-time diminished last night (13:01), while Sonny Milano saw a little more time (14:25). ... Having played 552 career games, Atkinson is one game from tying Fedor Tyutin for second all-time in franchise history. ... Zach Werenski earned his 100th career assist last night and has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) over eight of his last nine games. ... Columbus has played in 17 one-goal games, the most in the league (9-4-4). ... The Blue Jackets are 11-3-1 when scoring first and have scored the first goal in their last 10-consecutive games. ... In November, Korpisalo is 6-4-0, .919, 2.31. ... Elvis Merzlikins last start for the Blue Jackets came a week ago in the loss to the Jets in Winnipeg, and he started on Tuesday for the Cleveland Monsters, beating the Charlotte Checkers 3-1 and making 28 saves.

The Other Bench

New York has only lost a few times this season — literally — having posted streaks such as an 11-game winning streak coinciding with a 17-game points streak already this season. ... They've also had a five-game winning streak. ... Despite all of the winning, the Islanders come into tonight’s game on a three-game losing streak, including dropping their last two in regulation while out in California to the Ducks and Kings. ... The Sharks beat them in overtime to start the trip.

Similarly to last year, the Islanders are getting great defense and goaltending, and while their scoring might not stand out, it’s got some big and familiar names. ... For instance, former Blue Jacket Derick Brassard has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists). ... The former Calder winner, Mathew Barzal leads the team with nine goals and is the points co-leader with Brock Nelson (20). ... Anders Lee (five goals, five assists) is in the midst of an 11-game goalless drought. ... Between the pipes, Semyon Varlamov (7-3-0, .911, 2.66) is reunited with coach Barry Trotz from their D.C. Capitals days and teams up with Thomas Greiss (9-2-0, .930, 2.15), who is tied for sixth in the league in save percentage and fourth in GAA. Greiss had an eight-game winning streak snapped last time out against the Ducks.

Season Series

10/19/2019 NYI 3 @ CBJ 2 OT
11/30/2019 CBJ @ NYI
12/23/2019 CBJ @ NYI
03/30/2020 NYI @ CBJ

Stats Preview

NY Islanders Columbus
2.91 (18) GPG 2.64 (26)
2.52 (4) GAPG 3.08 (19)
18.2% (19) PP% 20.7% (10)
83.3% (10) PK% 81.3% (17)
46.28% (30) 5v5 Corsi % 49.41% (19)
46.92% (29) 5v5 Fenwick % 51.40% (9)
8.3 (16) 5v5 Shot % 6.9 (27)
.935 (4) 5v5 Save % .918 (14)
Mathew Barzal,
G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois,
Brock Nelson,
A Leader Seth Jones,
Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson,
P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, Gustav Nyquist, 18
Ross Johnston,
PIM Leader Boone Jenner,
10-2-1 Home / Road 3-4-3
6-2-2 Last 10 6-3-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gustav Nyquist Boone
Oliver Bjorkstand
Sonny Milano Pierre-Luc Dubois Josh Anderson
Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Alexandre Texier Riley
Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Ryan Murray David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov Dean Kukan
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo

New York Islanders

Anthony Beauvillier Brock Nelson Jordan Eberle
Mathew Barzal Josh
Casey Cizikas Cal Clutterbuck
Ross Johnston Michael Dal Colle Tom Kuhnhackl
Adam Pelech Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews Scott Mayfield
Noah Dobson Johnny Boychuk
Semyon Varlamov
Thomas Greiss