The New York Islanders had their seven-game point streak snapped Sunday, as they fell 4-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
The Islanders' first regulation loss in eight games came at the hands of a desperate Blue Jackets squad, who currently occupy the second wild-card spot – and final playoff seed – in the Eastern Conference.
“This was the first game I feel that we weren’t there as a group collectively in quite a while,” Travis Hamonic said. “If you measure this one up to some of the games we’ve had in the past that have been really good, this one wasn’t up to par.”
The Islanders gave up three power-play goals on the Blue Jackets' first four opportunities. Discipline also played a factor as the Islanders twice took the extra minor during scrums and coincidental situations.
“It’s tough when you’re in the box all night,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “[The penalty kill] wasn’t very good… For whatever reason they picked us apart a little bit.”
Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson scored a pair of power-play goals in the first period, giving the Blue Jackets an early 2-0 lead. Jenner crashed the net and stuffed in a loose puck, while Johnson picked the top corner off a hard one-timer.
The Islanders shorthanded woes continued into the second period, as the Blue Jackets scored on one of their two power-play opportunities. Ryan Murray beat Anders Nilsson with a point shot with 1:07 to play. Mark Letestu scored the Jackets lone even-strength goal earlier in the period.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, stopping any would-be momentum from the Islanders. Brandon Dubinsky (two assists), Letestu and Jenner (one goal, one assist each) led the Blue Jackets offensively with two points. The Blue Jackets also won the faceoff battle, winning 37-of-57 draws (65%).
Scott Mayfield made his NHL debut Sunday, skating 17:05 TOI, while registering two shots, four hits and a blocked shot.
The Islanders head home to play the Ottawa Senators in the final game at Nassau Coliseum this season. Puck drop goes Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: Travis Hamonic led the Islanders with 23:29 TOI… Matt Carkner picked up 23 PIMs with four minors, one fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct… Anders Nilsson made 29 saves in the loss… Michael Grabner (upper body) and Calvin deHaan (lower body) did not play.