Legs were heavy. That was clear.
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Columbus Blue Jackets were bested by the New York Islanders by a score of 2-0 on Saturday night.
There are bad ways to start hockey games. Tonight included one of them.
Anders Lee scored 1:20 into the opening frame on a tick-tack-toe passing play, finding Elvis Merzlikins a bit too far in his own crease, beating him above his left shoulder.
Halfway through the period, Lee struck for a second time against Columbus, but not on the score sheet. In an attempt to drive to the net front, he delivered an incidental elbow to the left shoulder of Zach Werenski, who immediately threw his stick to the ice and skated to the locker room, clutching his arm.
Werenski's future playing status is still unknown, but it should be noted his surgery during the summer of 2018 was on his left shoulder, the same one that got jammed by Lee. He did not return to the game.
The second period was a stalemate for most of the frame until Mathew Barzal got loose for a breakaway to extend the Islanders lead to 2-0 with just under four minutes to play.
The third period was as dry as the second, minus the goal that Barzal scored. The final shots ended at 39-27 in favor of the Blue Jackets. Semyon Varlamov was the star of the night, coming in with 30 saves for an injured Thomas Greiss.
Zach Werenski left tonight's game with an upper-body injury. The Blue Jackets are still without Markus Nutivaara as he continues to recover from injury. Kole Sherwood is also working his way back from injury. Brandon Dubinsky is still out long term with a wrist injury.
The Blue Jackets come back home to Nationwide Arena to face the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7:00 PM ET.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery