NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 5th (All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1-0) at New York Islanders (1-0-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Looking to avoid another slow start to the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets try to earn a split of back-to-back games to begin the campaign as they visit the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
The Blue Jackets just missed out on their second ever trip to the playoffs last season despite a 19-5-3 finish to the shortened season. That run came after a 5-12-4 start, so Columbus was hoping to get the 2013-14 season off on a better foot.
It didn't happen on Friday night as they lost a 4-3 decision to the Calgary Flames, who scored a pair of third-period goals 42 seconds apart to seize control.
"We were doing some uncharacteristic things -- sloppy play, turnovers. It was a bit reminiscent of our start last season. We weren't respecting the puck the way we needed to," said Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards.
Marion Gaborik and Jack Johnson both tallied a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who will play five of their next six on the road after opening at home. Reigning Vezina trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 30 shots.
It was better start for the Islanders on Friday night as they notched a 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils. Matt Moulson had the only goal of the six-round tiebreaker, snapping New York's string of five straight losses in season openers.
Michael Grabner scored twice in regulation for New York before setting up Frans Nielsen's marker early in the third period.
"We didn't play our best but we came away with two points and that's the biggest thing," said Moulson, whose club is coming off its first playoff appearance since 2007.
Defenseman Matt Donovan had an assist for his first NHL point, while Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves prior to stopping all six skaters he faced in the shootout.
The Blue Jackets have won two straight versus the Islanders, including a 7-3 home win in the last meeting on April 7, 2012.
Columbus is 9-1-3 with a tie all-time versus New York.
10/05 10:28:09 ET