New York Islanders Take Must-Win Game Over CBJ Highlights, Three Stars
It was a big win for the New York Islanders. A 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets allows them to breathe a bit in a tight Metropolitan Division.
With a heavy 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Islanders needed to get back on the right foot. Thankfully, the Islanders were welcoming the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets.
After acquiring almost everyone available at the trade deadline, the Columbus Blue Jackets have failed to take off. With a 5-5-0 record over their last ten, the Blue Jackets are barely in a playoff spot.
But the Islanders were going to have to shake whatever’s been bugging them in order to get a ‘W’. Over the Blue Jackets. That means strong defensive play and taking advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves.
Ryan Pulock did the latter at the 6:11 mark of the first period when he launched a trademark bullet into the top corner from a fortuitous bounce.
With the lead going into the second period, the Isles just needed to complete the second part of their plan. Strong defensive play. That didn’t necessarily happen.
While the Islanders didn’t concede in the second period, they have Thomas Greiss to thank for that. The Isles netminders stopped all 12 shots, eight of which were from high-danger areas. None of those stops were better than this one on Eric Robinson.
The third period was much of the same. The New York Islanders relied on their solid defending to catch the Blue Jackets in a mistake. The Blue Jackets didn’t make one and were content to bandi the puck around in the Isles zone.
It took an empty net goal from Anders Lee to seel the victory and two points over a divisional rival.
The Islanders now sit with 87 points. Two points shy of division leaders Washington Capitals and four up on third place Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are in the final wildcard by a hair. With a win over the Ottawa Senators tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers are breathing down the Blue Jackets neck and are only three points back.