The Columbus Blue Jackets kicked off the first night of a back-to-back by visiting the island and taking on the New York Islanders. The Islanders are a supremely disappointing team this season - predicted to finish in playoff position, the team has just 50 points through 53 games and is below the Jackets in the standings.
The Blue Jackets welcomed Joonas Korpisalo back to the crease, giving him his first start since returning from injury. In addition, the Jackets welcomed Eric Robinson back from his knee injury and he went into the lineup in place of Brendan Gaunce.
#CBJ has two returns to the ice tonight against the Islanders: Eric Robinson goes in for Brendan Gaunce while Joonas Korpisalo makes his first start in net since Jan. 30— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) March 10, 2022
Here’s what happened.
The teams traded possession up and down the ice early, but neither team could muster more than one shot on goal through the first four minutes. The Islanders had a 3 on 2 with 5:30 gone, but Korpisalo was able to make the save. At the first tv timeout, the shots favored the Islanders 5-3. At the 8:30 mark, Justin Danforth was injured as he blocked a shot with his foot and labored off the ice in apparent discomfort. With 10:39 remaining, the Blue Jackets took the first penalty of the night as Jake Bean was penalized for slashing.
Boone Jenner was quickly denied on a shorthanded breakaway but was denied. Seconds later, Vladislav Gavrikov took a high sticking penalty to give the Islanders 1:36 of 5 on 3. With 9:28 to go in the period, the Islanders were able to make good on their advantage - Brock Nelson was able to get a wrister through Korpisalo that trickled between his pads. Fairly soft goal allowed, Korpisalo should have saved that.
New York goal (0-1): Nelson from Bailey and Dobson, 10:32
The Islanders still had power play time, but the Jackets were able to kill it off without further damage. The teams continued to trade possession and rushes, but neither side could muster a high danger chance. During the final TV timeout, Danforth took a spin on the ice, but went back down the tunnel.
With 3:43 remaining, Zach Werenski hit the post from the slot as he beat Sorokin cleanly but was unable to find the back of the net. The Blue Jackets began to apply some offensive pressure in the dying minutes of the period but were unable to find an equalizer. With 1.4 seconds to go, the Blue Jackets earned a power play as Casey Cizikas went to the box for tripping. After 20 minutes, New York led 1-0 on the scoreboard, but Columbus led in shots 9-8.
The Islanders opened the second period by killing the Blue Jackets penalty, allowing just one shot on net. Adam Pellech generated the first real high danger chance of the period with 14:40 to go in the period, but Korpisalo was able to blocker it aside. Seconds later, the Islanders doubled their lead. Kyle Palmieri was able to force a defensive zone turnover on Vladislav Gavrikov and Josh Bailey grabbed the puck and put it through Korpisalo.
New York goal (0-2): Bailey from Palmieri, 6:08
The Islanders pressure began to mount following the second goal, but Korpisalo was equal to the task at hand. With 9:46 to go in the second period, the Jackets earned their second power play as Cizikas went to the box for hooking. The Jackets managed to generate a goal mouth scramble, but Sorokin made two outstanding stops.
With 6:11 to go, the Islanders made it 3-0 behind captain Anders Lee. Patrik Laine turned the pick over in the neutral zone and Lee’s wrist shot beat Korpisalo high glove side.
New York goal (0-3): Lee from Pelech and Beauvillier, 13:49
With 4:08 to go, Nyquist got through the defense on a stretch pass but Sorokin was able to deny the breakaway opportunity. Over the next minute, Korpisalo made a couple saves to keep the Jackets deficit at three. In a post-whistle scrum, Werenski and Lee dropped the gloves, but the officials broke it up quickly. Both were sent to the box for roughing with 3:21 to go.
With 2:42 to, the other Sebastian Aho was sent to the box for cross-checking Sean Kuraly, giving the Jackets 1:21 of a 4 on 3. With 2:16 to go, however, it was the Islanders who scored as a turnover (thanks to miscommunication from Voracek and Bjorkstrand) led to a 2 on 1 and JG Pageau gave the Islanders a 4-0 lead.
New York goal (0-4): Pageau from Pulock, 17:44
With 1:08 to go, just after coming out of the box, Cizikas was sent back for high sticking Bjorkstrand. After 40 minutes, the Islanders led 4-0, with the Blue Jackets’ best chance being a shot that hit the post with 30 seconds to go.
The Islanders killed the final 50 seconds of the Jackets power play.
The teams traded possession through the first five minutes of the period, neither finding a dangerous chance. The Islanders seemed content to play defense and see the game out. Through the first ten minutes of the period, the teams combined for three shots on goal.
With 8:03 remaining, the Blue Jackets defense again crumbled and left Anthony Beauvillier all alone in front of net. Korpisalo made the initial stop, but Anders Lee capitalized on the rebound to make it 5-0.
New York goal (0-5): Lee from Beauvillier and Pulock, 11:57
With 4:57 to go, Casey Cizikas took his fourth penalty of the night, this time for tripping Jakub Voracek. The Islanders were able to kill their fifth penalty of the night, allowing just one shot.
To add insult to injury, Casey Cizikas drew a penalty with 41.9 seconds to go. With one second to go in the game, Anders Lee completed his hat trick as Korpisalo lost his net.
New York goal (0-6): Lee from Aho and Beauvillier, 19:59
Columbus Blue Jackets 0 New York Islanders 6
Vladislav Gavrikov continues to take awful penalties - tonight’s minor penalty directly led to the Islanders’ first goal as he gave them the 5 on 3. Gavrikov had 32 PIMs in his first two seasons combined but is up to 42 and counting this year. This needs to be fixed going forward - Gavrikov cannot keep taking bad penalties.
The Blue Jackets were punished for every single mistake they made in this one. They could not capitalize on any chances while the game was still in question and the Islanders were able to take advantage of poor defensive marking, bad turnovers, and subpar goaltending to cruise to a simple victory.
The Blue Jackets are capable of playing with anyone on their best night. On off nights, you have players skating into each other on the power play to give up shorthanded goals (Bjorkstrand and Voracek), guys staling pucks from teammates to prevent open chances (Laine and Werenski) and get the embarrassing result you see on the score sheet.
Hope Justin Danforth is okay. He blocked Anders Lee’s shot in the first period with the inside of his boot and did not return. Tough to see after getting a contract extension so recently.
Everything about this game from the Blue Jackets’ perspective was a disaster. The Blue Jackets were not good, but Korpisalo did not look good in net. He had an .887 save percentage on the season before this one, and only managed an .818 on the night. Anyone hoping for a trade should probably stop - he has no trade value. He’ll likely leave in free agency for nothing.
The Columbus Blue Jackets return home to take on the Minnesota Wild on Friday, March 11. Faceoff is set for 7:00 EDT.