Islanders vs Blue Jackets Three takeaways - Returning to their identity

Islanders vs Blue Jackets Three takeaways - Returning to their identity

Islanders vs Blue Jackets Three takeaways - Returning to their identity

The Islanders needed just 1:18 to take the lead, scoring on a sweet passing play for the team's first line.

Shots on Goal_Columbus 12-10-17_39.

Goalies_Columbus, Merzlikins 0-3-3 (27 shots-25 saves). Both Greiss and Varlamov have been in very good form this season.

In the second period, Oliver Bjorkstrand did test Varlamov with a good shot off a rush, which Varlamov stopped with his left pad. "They make it hard, but we got some chances", Bjorkstrand said.

The Blue Jackets outshot the Islanders 17-6 in the third period, pulled Merzlikins with a little under four minutes left and had the game's only power play in the final three minutes but couldn't spoil the combined shutout. After a long shift in the CBJ offensive zone, Adam Pelech got the puck and flipped a ideal pass out of the zone to Barzal in stride, and he motored behind the defense and beat Merzlikins on a breakaway with a slick backhand finish. We have to find a way to play better, even when we don't have our best game. I thought the second period we really controlled the play. "The guys did a good job of keeping them short, rolling them over and not overextending our shifts", Jones said. It was Lee's first goal since Nov.1, snapping an 11-game drought. "In the third period we kept pressure on them, got some good looks, it's just nothing went in".

Lee almost double the lead about 3 1/2 minutes in, but was denied by Merzlikins.

Merzlikins added nice stops on Anthony Beauvillier in transition and Casey Cizikas on a rebound early, while Columbus' best chance in the period came as Long Island native Sonny Milano stole the puck from Devon Toews, skated in and hit the iron. Merzlikins made a great blocker save on a slap shot by Scott Mayfield with 7:44 left in the first. NY improved to 8-2-1 when scoring first, and 12-0-1 when leading after two periods. They dominated and created excellent scoring chances with Barzal scoring a nice breakaway goal in the second period. Bailey was whistled for interference on Jones with 3:01 left with the game's only penalty.

Walker, playing in just his second game since being called up from the Blues' AHL affiliate in San Antonio, thought he had scored the night before against Dallas only to have the goal called back for an offsides call made after a review.

Goalie Elvis Merzlikins made 25 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have alternated wins with losses over the last six games. He was down on the ice for several minutes before skating off while favouring his right shoulder and headed straight to the dressing room.

Josh Bailey won a battle for the puck along the boards in the neutral zone with Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. The Blue Jackets fell to 0-8-3 when giving up the first goal, and 3-9-0 when trailing after two periods.

Islanders: At Detroit on Monday night to open a two-game trip.

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