Game Preview: NY Islanders @ Columbus Blue Jackets

The Islanders have won both contests against the Blue Jackets this season.
New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

113. . BSOH, MSGN. April 4, 2024. 106. Isles at Blue Jackets. 25-38-12. 7:00 P.M. EST. 33-27-15

The NY Islanders (33-27-15, 79 points) will look to secure the second wild card spot as they travel to the Buckeye State to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (25-38-12, 62 points) at Nationwide Arena.

The New York Islanders organization held a very emotional pregame moment of silence to honor the life and service of fallen NYPD Officer Jonathon Diller. He tragically leaves behind a wife and one-year old child. The Islanders have pledged both financial and moral support for the Diller family. I wanted to take this paragraph to laud the organizations effort in supporting our men and women in law enforcement as well their families.


The Islanders' last game was on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks at UBS Arena. The game began lackluster until Jason Dickinson scored on a neutral zone turnover by Adam Pelech. The Isles failed to respond with a goal but outshot the Blackhawks 10-2 for the remainder of the first period.

The game remained 1-0 through the second period as the Isles outshot their opponent 12-6 in the frame. The third period had only 2 shots on goal between both teams until Simon Holmstrom tied the game midway through. After being stopped twice by Petr Mrazek, Bo Horvat finally found the back of the net on a pass from Mathew Barzal to give the Isles a 2-1 lead. Unlike their previous matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Isles sealed their victory without agita as Ilya Sorokin saved all 5 Blackhawks shots.

The Blue Jackets' last game was against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday at Nationwide Arena. The game was scoreless through the first 30 minutes of regulation until Kirill Marchenko scored his 20th goal. Alexander Nylander followed suit with 2 of his own to make the game 3-0. Aside from a goal scored by former Islander Chris Wagner 4:39 into the third period, the Avalanche never made a serious comeback. Cole Sillinger scored an empty netter with 1:33 remaining in regulation to seal a Blue Jackets 4-1 victory. Daniil Tarasov was light out, saving 45 of 46 shots on goal.


The Islanders have taken advantage of a rebuilding Blue Jackets team this season. Their first matchup came on October 28th at Nationwide Arena. The first period featured the Isles going 0-for-2 on the powerplay until Kyle Palmieri scored on a pass from Pierre Engvall. The game remained 1-0 until late in the third period when Matt Martin scored on an odd-man rush with Casey CizikasSemyon Varlamov saved all 34 shots on goal to shut out the Blue Jackets 2-0.

Their second meeting came on December 7th at UBS Arena. Engvall scored 4 minutes into the game on an assist from Noah Dobson. The game remained 1-0 until the second period when Emil Bemstrom and Adam Fantilli each scored. However, this would be the last time the Blue Jackets came close to a lead in this game. The Isles closed the frame with goals from Cal Clutterbuck, Barzal, and Palmieri to make the game 4-2. Aside from a goal from Fantilli 1:28 into the third period, the rest of this game was all Islanders. Barzal scored once more along with 2 goals within 20 seconds of each other from Horvat to secure a lopsided victory 7-3.


Patrick Roy pushed the right button by reinserting Holmstrom into the lineup next to Anders Lee and J.G. Pageau on Tuesday. After a failed experiment as a winger, Horvat is finally paired back with Barzal. The duo has scored a goal in each of the last 2 games. Additionally, Brock Nelson has proved he is a true centerman as he and Palmieri each had solid showings. Pelech and Ryan Pulock are back together and have played like the best defensive pairing in hockey. They have blocked 10 shots combined in the last 2 games. Kyle MacLean has also been impressive, recording 5 shots on goal and constantly driving toward the net.

24-year-old goaltender Tarasov has heated up, recording a .915 or better save percentage in 4 of the last 5 games. Johnny Gaudreau leads the team with 56 points this season. Erik Gudbranson and Ivan Provorov have been their best defensive tandem, recording 155 and 139 blocked shots respectively. The Blue Jackets possess one of the youngest rosters in hockey, with only Gudbranson and Sean Kurlay being over the age of 30.



Casey Cizikas - Bo Horvat - Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
Anders Lee - J.G. Pageau - Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin - Kyle MacLean - Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov - Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Mike Reilly - Sebastian Aho

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin


Johnny Gaudreau - Dmitri Voronkov - Alex Nylander
Alexandre Texier - Cole Sillinger - Kirill Marchenko
Mikael Pyyhtia - Brendan Gaunce - Mathieu Olivier
James Malatesta - Justin Danforth - Carson Meyer

Zach Werenski - Damon Severson
Ivan Provorov - Jake Bean
Jake Christiansen - Erik Gudbranson

Danil Tarasov
Jet Greaves