There's no room for complacency at this time in the season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are coming off one of, if not the best win of their season so far against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, but they know they know that carrying that momentum will be huge.
The New York Islanders prepare to host the Blue Jackets tonight, who have been on somewhat of a struggle bus as of late after being one of the NHL's more surprising stories of the season so far. Nevertheless, they hold a top-three Metropolitan Division spot, one that the Blue Jackets are hungry for.
The Islanders are a team the Blue Jackets could certainly face in the first round of the playoffs, so now would be a good time to set the tone for what that matchup might be like.
Here's tonight's preview:
Matchup: Columbus Blue Jackets (38-27-3) @ New York Islanders (39-22-7)
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Location: Nassau Coliseum: East Garden City, New York
Panarin - Dubois - Atkinson
Dzingel - Duchene - Bjorkstrand
Foligno - Jenner - Anderson
Dubinsky - Wennberg - Nash
Werenski - Jones
Nutivaara - Savard
Harrington - McQuaid
- Has the real Sergei Bobrovsky stood up? Against the Penguins on Saturday night, the two-time Vezina winning goaltender stopped 28 of 29 shots in one of his most impressive outings against Pittsburgh ever. The biggest criticism of Bobrovsky has been the idea that he may shrink under the bigger lights, but the Russian veteran could be ready to prove all doubters wrong. Even with a back-to-back for the Blue Jackets coming up, it's likely Bobrovsky will be between the pipes tonight against a tough divisional opponent.
- After how the offense looked against the Penguins on Saturday night, it's likely that we may have unofficially (hold your breath) seen the top-three offensive lines that John Tortorella will roll with as they continue their postseason push. A clutch, late third period goal by the line of Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Oliver Bjorkstrand showed a glimpse of what that trio could provide for the Blue Jackets from here on out. The fourth line is where we may see some change - don't be surprised to see Eric Robinson or Markus Hannikainen continue to get a chance as the regular season winds down.
- The Islanders have been slowing the roll, unintentionally of course as of late. They are now 4-5-1 in their last ten games and dropped from a commanding lead in the Metro to now just two points ahead of the Penguins for second place. They will surely be no pushover to the Blue Jackets tonight, though - they are 2-0 against Columbus on the season, both wins being in dominating fashion.
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