The Columbus Blue Jackets needed a win, and they got it in one of their more complete games of the season. The offense wasn't dynamic, but it provided enough punch to get the job done. Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky posted his second consecutive shutout and set a career-high with his eight shutout of the season, as the Blue Jackets defense is starting to click at the right time.
Ryan Dzingel scored for the second consecutive game and stretched his point streak to three games, sniping Thomas Greiss with a power play goal. The second power play unit moved the puck around effectively, going from Oliver Bjorkstrand to Boone Jenner, who made a deft pass to find Zach Werenski. Werenski and Dzingel isolated the Islanders' penalty killer, who was caught between the two. Dzingel beat Greiss to the glove-side, extending his career high with his 25th goal of the season.
It was a long time coming for the Blue Jackets, who were previously unable to solve Greiss for two-plus games, as the German had stopped 80 consecutive shots over 157:10 against the Blue Jackets.
The second period was scoreless, as both goalies played well. Bobrovsky made several key saves, including this Casey Cizikas breakaway.
Artemi Panarin scored a breakaway early in the third period, his first goal in 13 games (0-6-6 in the prior 12 games). Cam Atkinson sprung him behind the Islanders' defense, and Matt Duchene tallied a secondary assist on the goal. Panarin's goal was his 26th of the campaign. Atkinson's assist, his 27th of the season, ties his career high (2016-17).
Later in the third, Oliver Bjorkstrand sniped home his 17th goal of the season. Like Dzingel, he too has scored in his past two games, and has goals in three of his past four games. The Dane has come on in the second half of the season, and has tallied 14 goals in past 41 games after scoring just three goals in the first 30 games of the season.
In the dying seconds, Cam Atkinson scored his 39th goal of the season, his first goal in eight games, with an empty-net goal.
The Blue Jackets effectively shut the door in the third period, holding the Islanders to just seven shots in the frame.
There were no fights in the game, nor big hits, but there was more consternation than a typical Tuesday night game at Nationwide Arena, as both teams had plenty on the line. Pierre-Luc Dubois, Josh Anderson, Brandon Dubinsky, Dean Kukan, and Boone Jenner, to name a few, sparred with the Islanders' on separate occasions.
Ryan Murray is still out with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Zach Werenski left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury and did not return.
The Blue Jackets will next play on Thursday, March 28 in a giant match-up against the Montreal Canadiens at Nationwide Arena at 7:00 pm.
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