Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 2)

New York leads 2-0

Game 1: Tuesday, December 29th
Blue Jackets1Final
Game 2: Saturday, March 27th
Blue Jackets3

Islanders 4

(31-34-10, 72 pts)

Blue Jackets 3

(30-32-13, 73 pts)

7:00 PM ET, March 27, 2010

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 OT T
NYI 2 0 1 14
CBJ 0 1 2 03

J. Bailey (Islanders - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

R. Nash (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Roloson (Islanders - G): Saves: 34, Save Pct.: .919

Islanders-Blue Jackets Preview


The Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders will likely end their seasons in three weeks. but one team seems to be finishing strong despite the looming threat of playoff elimination,

Coming off their most lopsided win of the season, the Blue Jackets will try to earn their sixth victory in nine tries and sixth in a row at home over the Islanders on Saturday night.

After reaching the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2009, Columbus (30-32-12) is on the verge of being eliminated from this season's race.

Instead of playing out the string, however, Columbus appears determined to play meaningful games as long as possible. The Blue Jackets are 5-2-1 since March 8, and they routed then-Western Conference leader Chicago 8-3 on Thursday night.

Kristian Huselius and Antoine Vermette scored two goals apiece as the Blue Jackets broke a single-game home scoring record and tied their franchise mark. Jakub Voracek tallied one of his team's four second-period scores on a penalty shot and had two assists.

"It's good that nights like this happen for our team," interim coach Claude Noel said. "You have to stay focused and in control -- it's a fine line. The plan is just to move along at a level pace."

Noel's club has also been steady for most of this month at Nationwide Arena going 4-1-1 since play resumed following the Olympic break. If it can earn a fourth straight victory there Saturday, Columbus will have its longest home streak since winning five in a row Nov. 29-Dec. 17, 2008.

The Blue Jackets have outscored opponents 17-8 in their last three home games, and Huselius has led the way with four goals and four assists. He also has 12 points in his last six overall contests.

The Columbus forward, however, missed the chance to help his team beat the Islanders on Dec. 29. R.J. Umberger scored the tying goal in that game with 10:13 remaining in regulation, but Huselius recorded the first of three shootout misses for the Blue Jackets in a 2-1 road defeat.

Columbus, though, has outscored New York 16-8 over five consecutive home wins. Nationwide Arena is the only current NHL building where the Islanders (30-34-10) have never won, but they earned a tie in their first game there on March 17, 2001.

New York enters this trip having dropped three of four, but rallied for a 3-2 win over visiting Calgary on Thursday night. Matt Moulson scored his team-leading 27th goal 28 seconds into the final period, and Bruno Gervais tallied the go-ahead score with 8:29 remaining.

"In the third period we came out with the mindset to shoot, and we did," coach Scott Gordon said. "You saw it with the first shift."

Gordon's team faces long odds to make the postseason as it's eight points behind Boston in the East with eight games left. A 1-10-1 road record since Jan. 18 hasn't helped the Islanders' cause, and they haven't scored in their last two away games.

New York has won back-to-back games only once since Jan. 22.