New York Islanders drop Saturday matinee with Blue Jackets in overtime
The New York Islanders saw their playoff chances get slimmer with Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Islanders haven’t had much lucky in matinee games this season, only 1-3-1 going into Saturday’s contest with Columbus.
The home team had won every game in the three times the Blue Jackets and Islanders have met this season, and Columbus was still winless at the Barclays Center.
Casey Cizikas was taken off injured reserve on Friday and was playing his first game since early February. Anthony Beauvillier was back in the lineup for the Isles and Scott Mayfield took the place of Thomas Hickey who was a healthy scratch.
There were only two whistles in a quick moving first ten minutes. Thomas Greiss was challenged much more than Thomas Korpisalo was in the early goings.
The Islanders defense looked much better in the first than they had at recent games. Mayfield added a lacked physical prescene and they played a much tighter period.
With 5:42 remaining in the first Nikolai Kulemin created a neutral zone turnover and the Islanders headed towards the net. Jason Chimera wrapped around the net pushing a pass over to Travis Hamoinc at the point and he ripped a slap shot past Korpisalo to put the Islanders on the board.
It was only the third goal of the year for Hamonic and his first in 34 games . The Isles led 1-0. It was the Islanders first goal against Korpisalo in over 109 minutes of game action.
After the goal the Islanders took a step back and the Blue Jackets had a few golden chances but Greiss stood tall. Towards the end of the period Greiss made one his best saves the year sprawling towards the post to stop Cam Atkinson from tying the game.
The Isles took their 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
New York Islanders
The Islanders started the second with a big chance when Josh Ho-Sang found Brock Nelson alone in the front of the net but Korpisalo made a big save. On the other end Dennis Seidenberg lost his edge and turned the puck over.
The Jackets had a two on one and Oliver Bjorkstrand beat Greiss on the glove side to tie things at one at the 1:00 mark of the second.
The two teams would get into it a few minutes later when Ryan Strome cross checked Alexander Wennberg into the boards with no call. Nick Foligno and Mayfield would each get roughing calls, and Blue Jackets coach John Torteralla was not pleased.
The Blue Jackets continued to control play in the offensive zone and were outshooting the Isles 18-8.
With 4:12 left in the second Foligno broke through the Islanders defense and fed Josh Anderson who was left with a wide-open net and gave Columbus the lead.
In the final minute the Islanders frustration boiled over and Andrew Ladd got into his first fight of the season against Brandon Dubinsky.
The Blue Jackets took their 2-1 lead in the second and final break.
Despite a poor power play to start the period the Isles played well to begin the third but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Isles would need to start playing a more desperate game or they would risk falling three points out of the final wild card spot.
With 11:12 remaining in the game the Isles would hold the puck in the offensive zone for 0:54 seconds and after a few good chances, Tavares would throw the puck on net from the point beating Korpisalo and tying the game at two. It was the 27th goal of the year for the captain.
The Islanders would continue to buzz after the goal, and Brock Nelson wrung one off the far post. Minutes later Ho-Sang would be caught trying to do too much and turn the puck over sending Atkinson out on the breakaway but Mayfield hustled back to break up the play.
Both teams would have a few chances as the period wound down but no one would score and they were headed for overtime at the Barclays Center.
The Islanders played poor defense in the OT period and the offense never got a chance to do anything. At 1:19 Dubinsky toyed with the Islanders defense and found Atkinson in front who easily beat Griess.
The Islanders are now tied in point with the Maple Leafs and one point ahead of the Lightning. Both are in the action tonight.
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The Islander will finally have a couple of days to rest. They won’t play until Wednesday when they head over to Madison Square Garden to take on the Rangers.