The New York Islanders gave up four goals in the third period and fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 at Nationwide Arena Saturday night. The loss ended a six-game streak of games where the Isles picked up at least a point (5-0-1).
Sloppy play in their own zone and an aggressive forecheck by Columbus were the primary reasons for the defeat. The Islanders had difficulty clearing the puck out of their zone and seemed to be on their heels for most of the game after a strong first 10 minutes.
The Islanders came out strong in the opening half of the period and carried play early. In fact, the Isles had eight of the first nine shots on goal in the game.
This paid off when Josh Bailey’s strange deflection went into the air and beat Sergei Bobrovsky at 5:59 to make it 1-0 Islanders. Captain John Tavares was slashed on the play and seemed to be shaken up at first but the captain was able to continue playing.
The Blue Jackets play improved and they dictated the pace late in the period. Columbus tied the game at 1-1 on Jack Johnson’s first goal of the year at 13:59. The goal came on the power play as Tavares was in the penalty box for hooking.
Columbus was the better team for most of the second period, but the Islanders managed to keep the game close despite being outshot 19-10 in the period.
A bad line change by Calvin de Haan hurt the Islanders in the second period. Columbus took a 2-1 lead at 10:16 when Johnson took advantage of a bad line change and delivered a pinpoint stretch pass to Cam Atkinson who beat Jaroslav Halak low to the glove side on a breakaway.
The Islanders bounced back quickly. John Tavares tied the game at 2-2 at 12:32 when he put home the second rebound of a shot by Travis Hamonic that was initially deflected by Anders Lee. The play was set up by a strong forecheck initiated by Tavares which forced a turnover which created the scoring chance.
The Islanders started the third period shorthanded and managed to kill off the penalty, but Nick Leddy turned the puck over to Josh Anderson just after the power play expired. Anderson blasted the puck over Halak’s shoulder at 2:19 to give the Blue Jackets at 3-2 lead.
Brandon Saad made it 4-2 Columbus on a shot from the deep slot that just went over the shoulder of Halak and under the crossbar at 9:23.
Defensive zone breakdowns continued to plague the Islanders and the Blue Jackets cashed in twice more to open up a 6-2 lead. Worse for the Islanders, defenseman Johnny Boychuk seemed to injure his hand on the play that led up to Lukas Sedlak’s goal at 12:39. Boychuk did not return to the game. Seth Jones beat Halak on a shot from the point to make it 6-2. Coach Jack Capuano had seen enough and sent J.F. Berube in to finish the game. It was Berube’s first appearance of the season.
The loss ended the Islanders six-game points streak (5-0-1) and returned them to .500 with an 11-11-5 record.
NYI- Josh Bailey (5) unassisted
CBJ- Jack Johnson PPG (1) assisted by Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky
CBJ- Cam Atkinson (10) assisted by Jack Johnson and David Savard
NYI- John Tavares (9) assisted by Anders Lee and Travis Hamonic
CBJ- Josh Anderson (8) unassisted
CBJ- Brandon Saad 8) assisted by Oliver Bjorkstrand and Markus Nutivaara
CBJ- Lukas Sedlak (2) assisted by Seth Jones
CBJ- Seth Jones (4) assisted by William Karlsson and Scott Hartnell
THW Three Stars
First: Cam Atkinson (Goal, Assist)
Second: Seth Jones (Goal, Assist)
Third: Jack Johnson (Goal, Assist)
Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders
Barclays Center – 7 PM EST on Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Broadcast Channels: MSG-Plus
2016-17 Season Series: 1-1-0
Long time hockey writer and author of the new book, “Ice Wars: The Complete History of New York’s Greatest Modern Sports Rivalry.” It tells the story behind every game between the Rangers and Islanders dating back to 1972 and features profiles of more than 80 players from both teams and quotes from more than 50 exclusive interviews from players, coaches and broadcasters from both teams.