By Jack Fenty
The New York Islanders are coming off two horrible losses against the Panthers and Toronto. They lost to the Panthers 4-1 and lost to the Maple Leafs 5-0. If you do the math that means they let up nine goals and only scored one goal over those two games. Not good for a team that is in the middle of trying to make the playoffs. Jaroslav Halak will get the nod for the NYI.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are also coming off two straight losses. Their most recent loss is against the San Jose Sharks Friday night in which they lost 3-1. Columbus has 58 points and is sitting in the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start for CBJ.
This is a huge game for the struggling Islanders. If they win tonight they would push into the second wild-card spot depending on other Metro results. Doug Weight has shifted the lines; Anthony Beauvillier will be on the first line beside JT and Bailey. That means Anders Lee will slot into the second line with Barzal and Eberle. The third line will be Ladd-Brock-Chimera. The fourth will be Fritz-Cizikas-Clutterbuck. With only scoring one goal in two games a change had to be made. Beau will hopefully provide energy to the first line and Lee will provide a big body with the skilled Eberle and Barzal. I am not even going to bother talking about the bottom two lines because they STINK. Hopefully tonight we see some emotion from this team because there was non-Thursday night against the Leafs. The Isles will be in serious trouble if they do not win tonight. Let’s Go Islanders!
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