Kevin SchultzThe Columbus Blue Jackets, sitting in the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, looked hungry to solidify their playoff chances and took advantage against 11 Islander rookies. Given six power plays, Columbus made half of them count en route to a shutout on their home ice. They notched three power play goals in their first four opportunities, and the Islanders weren’t able to answer.
With the loss, the Islanders Tank keeps pace with the Calgary Flames’ Tank as the Isles hold the fourth position in the draft lottery. Both teams have 73 points in 78 games with the Islanders holding the tiebreaker of fewer ROW wins (regulation and overtime wins). The Florida Panthers are in third with 64 points and with three games to go, it’s not possible for them to pass the Islanders.
In the first period, Columbus got started scoring early only about four and a half minutes in. With Johan Sundstrom in the box, Boone Jenner was able to put in a rebound on the powerplay as both Jenner and Mark Letestu crashed Anders Nilsson’s crease. At the 6:50 mark of the period, Jack Johnson fired a slapper from the top of the right circle that beat Nilsson to put the Jackets up 2-0. The second period was a similar story with Columbus finding two more goals, one at even strength from Letestu and one power play marker from Ryan Murray.
Towards the end of the period Matt Carkner started what would be a string of encounters with the Blue Jackets. Carkner, Matt Martin, RJ Umberger and James Wisniewski got tangled up with all four players getting roughing penalties. Carkner would get an extra roughing penatly, which led to Murray’s goal late in the period.
In the third, the Jackets and Carkner were back at it challenging each other. Early on, 5-foot-11 Matt Calvert decided to try and take on Carkner and it did not work (via SBNation):
Later on there was an actual fight, as Jared Boll came after Carkner who was just taking on everyone at this point.
And that would be about it. Neither team found the scoresheet in the third period and were about even in shots. The Islanders finish up the season with four games this week. Their next stop is the home finale on Tuesday night at the Coliseum against the Ottawa Senators.
Meanwhile… Today at the Coliseum the NYPD and NYFD charity hockey game turned into a bench clearing brawl.