Preview: Blue Jackets to Clash with Islanders in Brooklyn

The New York Islanders continue their six-game home stand on Tuesday night when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in Brooklyn.

The Islanders have earned a point in four straight games (3-0-1) but blew a two-goal lead to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night and lost in overtime, 3-2. The Blue Jackets have won three of their last four including a wild 7-6 overtime win over the Senators on Sunday. That was the start of a season-long five-game road trip for the Jackets.

The Islanders will start Thomas Greiss in goal. He was just named the NHL’s second star of the week after going 2-0-1 with back-to-back shutouts and a .971 save percentage. Greiss’ goals-against average was a sparkling 0.98.

The Blue Jackets will counter with Sergei Bobrovsky who has already played in 37 of the team’s first 46 games. Bobrovsky’s strong play this season has been one of the keys to his team’s success. He has a 1.97 GAA and a save percentage of .932.

Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Islanders

Barclays Center – 7:00 PM EST

Broadcast Channels: MSG-Plus and Fox Sports Ohio

2016-17 Season Series: Dec 10, 2016, Blue Jackets 6, Islanders 2

New York Islanders – 19-17-9 – 47 points

Home Record: 13-8-5

Hot Players: John Tavares, Thomas Greiss, Anders Lee

Key Injuries: Travis Hamonic

Projected Lines:


Anders Lee – John Tavares – Josh Bailey

Brock Nelson – Ryan Strome – Andrew Ladd

Anthony Beauvillier – Alan Quine – Jason Chimera

Nikolay Kulemin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck


Nick Leddy – Adam Pelech

Thomas Hickey – Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan – Dennis Seidenberg

Starting Goaltender:

Thomas Greiss


Columbus Blue Jackets – 32-10-4 – 68 points

Road Record: 14-5-3

Hot Players: Sam Gagner, Scott Hartnell

Key Injuries: David Clarkson, Markus Nutivaara, David Savard

Projected Lines:


Brandon Saad – Alexander Wennberg – Nick Foligno

Boone Jenner – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson

Scott Hartnall – William Karlsson – Josh Anderson

Matt Calvert – Lukas Sedlak – Sam Gagner


Zach Werenski – Seth Jones

Jack Johnson – Dalton Prout

Ryan Murray – Scott Harrington

Starting Goaltender:

Sergei Bobrovsky

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Blue Jackets have a big edge on special teams. They own the league’s best power play which will go up against the Islanders 19th-ranked penalty kill. The Islanders are only 27th with the extra attacker while the Jackets are the league’s seventh best penalty killers. The Islanders will have to find a way to contain the Columbus special teams to keep this game close.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Blue Jackets have also shown rare resiliency this season. Columbus is 10-6-1 when opponents score first, one of the few NHL teams with a winning record. The Islanders, on the other hand, are just 4-12-3 when yielding the first goal of the game.

Josh Bailey John Tavares New York Islanders
Josh Bailey and John Tavares are a strong duo on the Isles top line. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] John Tavares is by far the Islanders’ best player and he’s been red-hot lately. In his last six games, the Islanders captain has eight goals and nine points. No player in the NHL has more goals since Jan. 13. The Blue Jackets must slow down Tavares to contain the Islanders who struggle to score if their best player isn’t providing offense.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Cam Atkinson is presently third in the NHL with 23 goals. The Islanders will have to slow Atkinson down if they hope to contain the Jackets’ third-ranked offense. Columbus averages 3.29 goals per game.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella is a familiar face to the Islanders. Tortorella was head coach of the rival New York Rangers from 2008 to 2013.

The Blue Jackets are the stronger team in practically every statistical way, but the Islanders have played better of late since turning to Doug Weight as interim coach. Greiss is hot and will have to continue his stellar play to keep the Islanders in this game.

Tortorella will no doubt be looking for his team to play better defensively after allowing six goals on Sunday against Ottawa. Expect the Blue Jackets to try to buckle down in their own end and slow the Islanders down in the neutral zone.

The Islanders have been playing better lately, but the Blue Jackets represent a much tougher challenge than their recent opponents.