Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Lighthouse Hockey
New York Islanders, 44-25-7, 96 points, 2nd Metro, t-5th East
Columbus Blue Jackets, 41-30-4, 86 points, 5th Metro, 9th East
From week to week, the vibe surrounding the Columbus Blue Jackets seems to change on the daily. But things are very clear. Win and keep a chance at the playoffs alive. Lose and you only make the hole deeper to climb out of.
Entering play tonight two points out of the second wild card in the East, the Blue Jackets face a critical test against a club they have yet to beat this season in the New York Islanders. Since Columbus scored the first two goals against the Islanders in New York on Dec. 1, the Blue Jackets have been shutout ever since, losing that game first game, 3-2, and the last two meetings by scores of 3-0 and 2-0, respectively.
Player to Watch
Thomas Greiss has been the guy to absolutely fool the Blue Jackets’ offense — which is something every other team has been doing, too — as he enters play with 120-plus consecutive minutes of shutout hockey against them. It’s safe to assume he gets another crack at them tonight, having gone 3-0 against Columbus this year. We’ll have more on Greiss below, but on the season, he is 22-13-2, with a 2.29 GAA and .926 SV%.
You might say Artemi Panarin has been invisible for Columbus, on the goal-scoring front, only finding the back of the net once since his two goal game at the Blackhawks Feb. 16, but Panarin does have assists in four of the previous six games. ... Pierre-Luc Dubois recorded his first point of the month, a goal, in Sunday’s 5-0 win at the Canucks. ... Sergei Bobrovsky returned to action after a one-game absence for a reported injury he was said to be dealing with for a few weeks, and was brilliant in Sunday’s 21-save shutout. ... Bobrovsky now seven shutouts on the season, tying his career-high from 2016-17. ... Nick Foligno has missed the previous three games due to a personal matter. ... Columbus surrenders the seventh fewest shots a game (29.6), while the Islanders are tied-for-10th (30.7).
The Other Bench
What a difference a year can make. The Islanders are going to be in the playoffs, though they have yet to officially clinch a spot, but barring a catastrophic meltdown, they hold a firm grasp among the top three in the Metro division, just one point out of first for the division lead. Even after Barry Trotz’ team suffered 5-0, and 4-0 losses, to the Bruins and Canadiens last week, the team rebounded with victories against the Flyers and Coyotes over the weekend.
Goaltending has been the key for the team, as Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss are second and fourth in the league, respectively, among save percentage (Lehner: .928 SV% / Greiss: .926 SV%), and second and third in goals against average (Lehner: 2.17 / Greiss: 2.29). Trotz will look to keep both fresh and in the net for the handful of games left in the season as the duo has propelled the club to the best in the league in terms of GA/GP (2.36). Lehner also missed time this month after an injury in Ottawa after being run into by Brady Tkachuk.
We talked about it before the last game between these two teams, but the offense, while it was seventh in GF/GP last season (3.18), they are scoring just 2.74 a game this season, or 21st in the league. Anders Lee is the team goals leader with 27, while Mathew Barzal leads the club with 42 assists and 59 points.
Finally, here’s something Blue Jackets fans are familiar with.
On the injury front, Andrew Ladd (knee) left Sunday’s game and his status is questionable for tonight, while Valtteri Filppula is out four weeks due to an upper-body injury suffered against the Bruins last week.
12/01/2018 CBJ 2 @ NYI 3
02/14/2019 NYI 3 @ CBJ 0
03/11/2019 CBJ 0 @ NYI 2
03/26/2019 NYI @ CBJ
|2.74 (21)||GPG||3.03 (13)|
|2.36 (1)||GAPG||2.89 (13)|
|14.5% (29)||PP%||15.1% (28)|
|80.6% (17)||PK%||84.5% (t-3)|
|47.45% (27)||EV Corsi %||50.04% (13)|
|102.2 (t-1)||EV PDO||100.0 (14)|
|Anders Lee, 27||G Leader||Cam Atkinson, 38|
|Mathew Barzal, 42||A Leader||Artemi Panarin, 52|
|Mathew Barzal, 59||P Leader||Artemi Panarin, 77|
|Scott Mayfield, 66||PIM Leader||Josh Anderson,
Pierre-Luc Dubois 60
|21-13-3||Home / Road||20-16-2|
Columbus Blue Jackets
|Artemi Panarin||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Cam Atkinson|
|Ryan Dzingel||Matt Duchene||Josh Anderson|
|Brandon Dubinsky||Alexander Wennberg||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Markus Nutivaara||David Savard|
|Scott Harrington||Adam McQuaid|
|Joonas Korpisalo / Keith Kinkaid|
New York Islanders
|Mathew Barzal||Jordan Eberle|
|Anthony Beauvillier||Tanner Fritz||Leo Komarov|
|Nick Leddy||Johnny Boychuk|
|Adam Pelech||Ryan Pulock|
|Devon Toews||Scott Mayfield|