Game Preview: Isles Head To Columbus To Play Spoiler Against The Jackets
A day after giving up yet another 2 goal lead in their shootout loss at home to the Capitals, the Islanders hit the road to Ohio and are set to face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Isles look to continue their succesful road record this season where they find themselves 18-17-2. This is the final meeting of the 4 times the Isles see Columbus this season and they are 1-1-1 in the first 3 matchups.
Puck drop between these Metropolitan Division foes is set for 6pmEST at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio and it can be seen on MSG+ and heard on WRHU88.7FM/WRCN103.9FM.
The Islanders continue to be completely raveged by injuries this season and that trend continued yesterday with Calvin de Haan and Michael Grabner leaving the game early with and lower body injury and upper body injury, respectively. Grabner was returning to his first game action in about a month yesterday, but it did not last long and de Haan was knocked out of the game with a questionable hit by Alex Ovechkin. As a result of the de Hann and Grabner injuries the Isles have called up John Mayfield and Johan Sundstrom from Bridgeport.
New York looks to continue to play spoiler as the Blue Jackets are currently hanging on to the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A loss to would put a big blow into what the Blue Jackets are trying to accomplish this season.
Islanders 3 Keys to the Game:
- Put pucks on net. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Sergei Bobrovsky, has been shaky at times this season and the Isles must make him work.
- Slow the game down. With 10 rookies on the ice they may try to play at a quicker pace than necessary, but it is imperative that the veterans control the pace.
- Stay out of the penalty box. With such a young defensive unit and most of the top penalty killers on the shelf, New York must stay at even strength.
Projected Lineup (According to Dailyfaceoff.com):
27 Lee-51 Nielsen(A)-12 Bailey
56 Persson-29 Nelson-15 Clutterbuck(A)
17 Martin-18 Strome-13 McDonald
28 Sundstrom-53 Cizikas-43 Halmo
46 Donovan-3 Hamonic(A)
24 Czuczman-14 Hickey
42 Mayfield-7 Carkner