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Game #56 Recap: Islanders Come to Columbus, Thrash Jackets in Nationwide Arena

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Here’s what happened.

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

The Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Metropolitain Division leading New York Islanders last night, looking to continue their four game winning streak as the team found its game following a five game losing streak. The Islanders come to town on the heels of a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

Heading into the game, it appeared that there would be no lineup changes. Josh Anderson, who took a big hit from Tom Wilson early in Tuesday’s win, was available and skating the morning of Thursday’s game.

Sergei Bobrovsky again got the start for the Blue Jackets, thanks to his recent run of play.

Here’s what happened during last night’s Metropolitain matchup.

First Period

The first shot of the night for the Blue Jackets beat Thomas Greiss but could not find the back of the net as it hit the goal post. Columbus started on the front foot as a Pierre-Luc Dubois effort was redirected just wide. With 1:44 gone, a bad turnover from Artemi Panarin led to Jordan Eberle hitting the crossbar. The Islanders found their game after the initial flurry, registering seven shots to the Jackets’ two in the first five minutes of the game. Cam Atkinson took a big hit at the blue line and was shaken up with 5:30 gone in the first, but remained on the bench.

After a Greiss save, a stretch play through the neutral zone saw Casey Cizikas get behind the Blue Jackets’ defense and deke Sergei Bobrovsky for the first goal.

Islanders goal (0-1): Cizikas from Clutterbuck and Greiss, 7:06

Shortly after the goal, Boone Jenner went to the box for tripping at 7:44. The 26th ranked power play of the Islanders matched up against the second rated penalty kill of the Jackets, which had killed 39 out of their last 40 penalties. Nick Foligno found Josh Anderson for a shorthanded breakaway, but Greiss was equal to it. The Jackets killed the penalty, allowing no shots.

Some end to end action through the middle part of the period saw both teams with shots but neither team with a truly dangerous chance. Columbus had the run of play through the middle of the period. With 6:10 remaining, Zach Werenski saw a shot go off the glove of Greiss. On a rush up the ice, Josh Anderson saw his shot saved again by Greiss.

Columbus sustained pressure through the second half of the period, allowing just one shot from New York after the Islanders goal, but the Jackets could not beat Greiss despite several scoring chances.

After one period, New York led 1-0. Columbus outshot New York 12-10.

Second Period

The Islanders had a chance after a Ryan Murray turnover, but Sergei Bobrovsky was equal to the task just 34 seconds into the period. The Islanders started the first on the forefront of play as they did in the first period, pressuring the Jackets and hemming the home team into the defensive zone. David Savard went off for tripping at 3:30. A long first shift by the Islanders led to two shots but no goals as Bobrovsky stood tall. The Jackets killed the penalty, allowing just two shots. After a turnover, a lead pass to Casey Cizikas on a breakaway beat Bobrovsky for his second of the night.

Islanders goal (0-2): Cizikas from Toews and Bailey, 5:50

The Jackets got caught with five players below the face-off dots as the defense had pinched in and Cizikas was again able to make them pay.

The Islanders took control of the game in the second, clogging the neutral zone and preventing the Jackets from getting any traffic in front of Greiss or from generating rebound chances. With 12 minutes gone, the Islanders led 2-0 and were outshooting the Jackets 18-15.

With several chances in front of the net, Seth Jones and Artemi Panarin were denied before Johnny Boychuk went to the box for hooking Artemi Panarin at 13:19. Despite several chances, the Jackets were shut out on the man advantage, generating just two shots.

With seconds to go in the period, the second line was hemmed in for a long defensive shift and a shot by Tom Kuhnhakl deflected off of Josh Anderson and was buried by Josh Bailey.

Islanders goal (0-3): Bailey from Kuhnhakl and Barzal, 19:19

The period ended with Columbus outshooting New York 22-20 but trailing on the scoreboard 3-0.

Third Period

The third period started with end to end action, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. At the first television timeout, the Jackets led in shots 26-23 but continued to trail 3-0 as Sergei Bobrovsky denied Cal Clutterbuck from the side of the net.

The Jackets were able to get the better of play on the first shift after the timeout, including another post for the home team. The Jackets could not generate rebound chances or a true odd man rush, a theme of the night - the Islanders’ neutral and defensive zone coverage was quite solid. Greiss had not truly been tested, credit the Islanders for keeping play far away from the crease.

Cam Atkinson had a great chance to the side of Greiss with 13 minutes gone but could not roof it over the sprawling netminder. Despite the Jackets swarming Greiss’ net late, they could not find a goal as the Isles seemed content to shut the game down.

As the game wound down, Columbus maintained offensive zone presence but no true scoring chances as play was kept to the sides and boards. No wonder the Isles lead the league in save percentage, they face no high danger chances ever.

Final

New York Islanders 3 Columbus Blue Jackets 0

Three Stars

3) Johnny Boychuk
2) Thomas Greiss
1) Casey Cizikas

Final Thoughts

Whatever the opposite of playing fast and playing with urgency was, that’s what Columbus did.

Someone has to recognize the blue line being undefended, be it a forward or defenseman. Twice the team got burned, both times resulting in Cizikas goals.

PLD only played 14 minutes.

Next up: @Chicago Saturday night at 8:00 EST