The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders, 3-1, Saturday night at Nationwide Arena. Richard Park had the lone goal for the Islanders.
The Islanders began the game with several offensive opportunities, but were trapped in their own zone for the majority of the first period. The Blue Jackets took 11-straight shots during one long stretch in the frame, but couldn't solve Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald.
Tim Jackman, a former Blue Jacket, had the Islanders' best chance of the opening period on a late mini-breakaway. Rookie goaltender Steve Mason kicked away Jackman's low snap shot, though, to keep the game scoreless.
Fredrik Modin finally broke the tie with a power-play goal at 4:01 of the middle frame. Rick Nash sent a pass to Clay Wilson at the blue line. Wilson then dropped the puck for Fedor Tyutin, who wristed a 52-foot shot that bounced off Modin's skate in front and past MacDonald for his sixth goal of the season.
Jason Chimera's speed gave the Blue Jackets a two-goal advantage toward the end of the period. Mike Commodore cleared the puck down the ice from his defensive zone. Chimera then skated between Trent Hunter and Mark Streit, collecting the puck near the face-off dot before chipping it over MacDonald's left shoulder at 18:06 for his seventh goal of the year.
Park cut the Islanders' deficit in half with just 10 seconds remaining in the middle frame. While on the penalty kill, Andy Hilbert sent a clearing attempt that bounced over Commodore's stick at the blue line and into the neutral zone. Park found the puck and skated in alone, deking to his backhand before slipping the puck through Mason's 5-hole. For Park, the goal marked his second shorthanded tally of the season, and fifth overall.
"I had a little time and space," said Park. "I opened up Mason's legs and found a hole there."
The Blue Jackets extended their lead to 3-1 on a scramble in front of the Islanders' net midway through the third period. Following a failed clearing attempt, Kris Russell slapped a shot from the right face-off circle. MacDonald made the initial save, but couldn't control the rebound. After a couple of whacks by Jakub Voracek, Andrew Murray knocked the puck in for his fourth goal of the year at 10:47.
Mason made 24 saves for the win, while MacDonald recorded 32 stops in the loss.
The Islanders finished 0-for-3 on the power play, with seven shots. Columbus went 1-for-2 with the man advantage, recording two shots. The Blue Jackets out-shot the Islanders overall, 35-25.
Three Stars of the Game: 1. Jason Chimera: scored the game-winning goal, had five shots in 19:10 of ice time 2. Steve Mason: made 24 saves for his eighth win of the season 3. Andrew Murray: sealed the game for Columbus with his fourth goal of the year late in the third Honorable Mention - Richard Park: tallied his second shorthanded goal of the season, finished +1 with two shots
Slap Shots: Mark Streit again led the Islanders with 23:48 of ice time...Bill Guerin paced the team with five shots, while Thomas Pock led the club with six hits...The Islanders rank second in the NHL with seven shorthanded goals this season. The team's three shorthanded tallies on the road also rank second in the league...Richard Park scored a career-high four shorthanded goals for the Islanders last season...The Islanders (0-4-2) have never won a game in Columbus...Mike Sillinger (strained groin) was the Islanders' lone scratch and is day-to-day.
2 Mark Streit - 32 Brendan Witt
25 Andy Sutton - 44 Freddy Meyer
14 Chris Campoli - 17 Thomas Pock
20 Sean Bergenheim - 93 Doug Weight - 7 Trent Hunter
11 Andy Hilbert - 12 Josh Bailey - 13 Bill Guerin
16 Jon Sim - 10 Richard Park - 57 Blake Comeau
49 Mitch Fritz - 45 Nate Thompson - 28 Tim Jackman
1 Steve Mason
31 Pascal Leclaire
3 Marc Methot - 51 Fedor Tyutin
8 Jan Hejda - 22 Mike Commodore
5 Christian Backman - 10 Kris Russell
20 Kristian Huselius - 18 R.J. Umberger - 61 Rick Nash
33 Fredrik Modin - 16 Derick Brassard - 25 Jason Chimera
17 Andrew Murray - 27 Manny Malhotra - 93 Jakub Voracek
4 Clay Wilson - 19 Michael Peca - 40 Jared Boll