Struggling clubs collide as Blue Jackets host Isles

12:59 PM, Nov 9, 2013   |    comments
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets try to put the brakes on a five-game slide, as they host the New York Islanders on Saturday in a matchup between struggling Metropolitan Division foes.

The Blue Jackets have lost five straight in regulation entering Saturday's battle and the club is just 3-9-0 over its past 12 trips to the ice. The Islanders haven't fared much better recently, losing two straight, four of five and posting a 3-5-1 mark in their last nine outings.

Columbus has been outscored by a combined 11-3 margin over its last three losses -- all on home ice -- and was on the wrong end of a 4-2 decision Thursday night against the New York Rangers. Carl Hagelin scored a pair of goals to back a 32-save effort from Cam Talbot in the win for the Blueshirts.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30-of-33 shots in the loss, while Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray accounted for the Columbus goals.

"That was embarrassing hockey tonight," Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards said of his team's performance. "And to me, that's losing hockey the way we played. We got exactly what we deserved. It would have been 7-1 going into the third period (but) our goalie was great."

The setback was the club's fourth straight at Nationwide Arena and dropped Columbus to 3-6-0 on home ice this season. Saturday's test is the final tilt of a four-game homestand, and the Blue Jackets will play seven of their next eight on the road.

The Blue Jackets haven't lost six in a row since an 0-5-1 slide from Jan. 19- Feb. 1, 2012.

Columbus has won three straight against the Islanders and is 4-0-2 in the last six games in this series. The Blue Jackets also have never lost in regulation on home ice against the Isles, going 6-0-1 with a tie over eight all-time encounters at Nationwide Arena.

The Islanders are 0-2 so far on a four-game road trip that will end Sunday in Montreal. New York began the swing with a 6-2 loss Tuesday in Washington and followed with a 1-0 setback in Thursday's tilt at Carolina.

Justin Peters stopped all 21 shots he faced in net to lead the Hurricanes to the close win over the visiting Isles. The lone goal of the game came early in the first period, when Ron Hainsey took a shot from the point that Radek Dvorak deflected past Kevin Poulin.

Poulin stopped 23-of-24 shots for New York, which was shut out for the first time this season.

"He made the saves that he had to for us and gave us a chance. That is nice to see from my young goaltender," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.

Capuano could opt to use Evgeni Nabokov on Saturday considering the veteran netminder is 19-4-3 with a sparkling 1.77 goals against average in 27 career games against the Blue Jackets.

Isles forward Cal Clutterbuck missed Thursday's game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for Saturday.

The Sports Network

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