The Columbus Blue Jackets finally figured out Thomas Greiss and the New York Islanders in a 4-0 shutout at Nationwide Arena.
- New York Islanders 0 (44-26-7, 95 points)
- Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (Ryan Dzingel, Artemi Panarin, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Cam Atkinson)
- Box Score, NHL, Final
- Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
For the second time in the last five games, the Islanders failed to put away an opponent in direct playoff competition. Though they managed to snap their losing streak in the last four games, any sense of urgency seemed departed in their latest effort in Columbus.
Ryan Dzingel struck first for the Jackets just under six minutes in on their only powerplay of the game. Though the Isles had their best effort in the first, special teams became the difference even marginally so.
The lone goal held until everything came apart in the third period, with Artemi Panarin breaking a 13-game goal-less drought on a breakaway. Oliver Bjorkstrand broke the Islanders’ comeback efforts, and Cam Atkinson‘s goal rubbed a little salt in the open wound.
#Isles are 8 minutes and change from being shut out for the third time in five games. Just not enough of a push back when they fall behind against teams primed for the postseason.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) March 27, 2019
Thomas Greiss did what he could to keep the Islanders in, but the Jackets were topping them in nearly every category. The Islanders — dare it be mentioned — ‘battle level’ has simply not been there against teams chasing them.
Whether it was from a lack of action at the trade deadline, not having all of their best offensive weapons in the lineup, or possibly both, is irrelevant. The Islanders are desperately in need of revitalization and Barry Trotz has to pull the trigger on something — anything — immediately.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have risen from the depths of the Eastern Conference, the Carolina Hurricanes are firmly in control of the top Wild Card, and if the Islanders slip any further they will be out of a seed in the Metro.
With tonight’s loss, the Islanders are at the third seed in the division by the rule of goal-differential with the Pens. The Capitals made short work of the Carolina Hurricanes with a 4-1 victory, so the Metro lead widens to a three-point margin.
There are five games left against the Winnipeg Jets and Sabres this week, and up next are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals.
The Jets are fighting for the Central division banner, the Leafs are anticipating what awaits them at the Coliseum this-time around, and if the Isles can somehow win the next several in a row, their game against the Capitals may very well have banner implications.
Up next are the Winnipeg Jets at 8 p.m. EST this Thursday on MSG+.