National Hockey League action within the Metro Division this evening and we will see the Columbus Blue Jackets invade the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to grapple with the New York Islanders. The Blue Jackets are off a 6-1 home win over the Devils, while the Islanders are off a 3-2 home loss to the Flames. Goalie Probables: Getting the nod for the Blue Jackets will be Sergei Bobrovsky and he will be opposed by Jaroslav Halak.
Blue Jackets Find Offense in Crushing The Devils
The Columbus Blue Jackets did have a decent start to their year, but then the offense really started to struggle and that has led to them being a very mediocre team of late. Well, they finally got their offense going in their last game as they torched the Devils by a score of 6-1. The Blue Jackets had averaged just 1.73 gpg over their previous 15 games. They really needed the win as they had lost their previous five games and they hope to build on that offensive showing in this one against an Islanders team that recently allowed the Buffalo Sabres to hang six on them. Buffalo is the worst offensive team in the league. Scoring in the win over the Devils was Pierre-Luc Dubois, which was his 12th of the year, Artemi Panarin, which was his 15th, Josh Anderson, which was his 17th, Oliver Bjorkstrand, which was his 9th, Nick Foligno, which was his 11th and Matt Calvert, which was his 7th. The Blue Jackets have gone 11-16 on the road for the year and they have averaged 2.67 gpg and have allowed 3.15 gpg in those games.
Grabbing the win against the Devils was Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 34 of the 35 shots that he faced in the game to improve to 23-22 with a 2.48 GAA and a .919 save percentage on the year, while on the road he has gone 10-13 with a 2.84 GAA and a .907 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 98-77 with a 2.50 GAA on the road and 49-42 with a 2.44 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Islanders he has gone 14-5 with a 2.34 GAA.
The Blue Jackets have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 29th in the league in scoring at 2.56 gpg, while also ranking 3rd in shots taken (34.2 spg) and 31st in power play conversions, converting on 14.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been solid as they come in ranked 9th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.75 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots allowed (31.7 spg) and 27th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 24.6% of their chances.
Islanders Burned By The Flames Late
If the playoffs started today, the New York Islanders would be watching them from the comfort of their own couches, but they are far from out of the race as they are just one point out of the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. They had a very nice chance at a win over a good Calgary team in their last game as they had a 2-0 lead in the game and a 2-1 lead heading to the 3rd, but the Flames got a couple of goals from Matthew Tkachuk in the final frame, including one with just 1:05 left in regulation to give them the 3-2 win. That was a tough loss for them, especially since those are the games they really need to win if they hope to get into the playoffs this year. Scoring in the loss was Casey Cizikas, which was his 7th of the year and Anthony Beauvillier, which was his 13th of the year. The Islanders have gone 15-13 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.61 gpg and have allowed 3.64 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Flames was Jaroslav Halak, who allowed three goals on 42 shot attempts to fall to 17-21 with a 3.23 GAA and a .908 save percentage on the year, including 10-10 with a 3.33 GAA and a .911 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 134-82 with a 2.33 GAA in his home games and 47-28 with a 2.26 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Blue Jackets he has gone 13-8 with a 2.65 GAA.
The Islanders enter this contest ranked 3rd in the league in scoring at 3.33 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots taken (31.1 spg) and 11th in power play conversions, converting on 21.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor as they enter this contest ranked 31st in goals allowed, giving up 3.67 gpg, while also ranking 31st in shots allowed (35.5 spg) and 30th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 26.3% of their chances.
- The Over is 4-1 in their last five vs. the Metropolitan
- The Over is 6-2 the last eight games in this series overall
New York is:
- The Over is 16-4-2 in their last 22 when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game
- The Over is 21-8-2 in their last 31 vs. the Eastern Conference
The Blue Jackets have had their issues scoring this year, but fear not as the Islanders have been giving away goals at wholesale this year. The Isles recently allowed six goals to the Sabers here at home and that is the worst offensive team in the league. They have now allowed 3.64 gpg here at home for the year and the Blue Jackets are coming off a game in which they scored six goals. I look for their offense to have another good one. The Blue Jackets have been good in the crease, but only at home as they have allowed 3.15 gpg on the road and the Islanders have averaged 3.61 gpg here at home for the year. I see this one hitting at least seven goals easily and the clincher is the fact that the over is 6-1 the last seven games between these teams here in New York.