Islanders-Blue Jackets Preview
The New York Islanders are brimming with confidence after finishing with their highest goal total in five seasons.
They haven't had too much trouble racking up goals against the Columbus Blue Jackets, although they've never faced Joonas Korpisalo.
The visiting Islanders look to complete a four-game sweep of the Blue Jackets and make it eight straight meetings without a regulation defeat in the series Tuesday night.
New York (27-18-6) cruised to an 8-1 victory over Edmonton on Sunday. Kyle Okposo recorded his second career hat trick, Nick Leddy had a career-high three assists and John Tavares added a goal and two assists in the Islanders' highest-scoring effort since a 9-3 win over Pittsburgh on Feb. 11, 2011.
''It was good. Good to put up eight. It was a pretty good team effort,'' Okposo said. ''I thought we were going on all cylinders. It's definitely nice to get rewarded.''
Okposo has 10 points in his last eight games and Tavares has nine in six.
New York, which had totaled three goals in losing its previous two games, looks to avoid its first three-game road slide in two seasons.
The Islanders are enjoying a 5-0-2 run over the Blue Jackets in which they've totaled 30 goals, with nine in three victories this season. Brock Nelson has scored three of his team-high 20 goals in the 2015-16 season series.
Korpisalo has posted back-to-back wins as he continues to fill in for the injured Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney. He made 37 saves in a 2-1 shootout win at Vancouver on Thursday followed by 30 the next night in a 2-1 victory at Calgary.
Korpisalo is 6-1-1 with a 1.84 goals-against average in his last eight starts.
''He's been saving (us) for a while, it seems like. It feels great with a guy like that you can really count on,'' center William Karlsson said. ''He seems very confident out there, calm. It's kind of contagious. It goes out on all of us players.''
Columbus (21-28-5) seeks its second three-game win streak of the season after Karlsson scored twice against the Flames, ending a nine-game goal drought and giving him six for the season.
''It feels good to win and score two goals. Obviously, I haven't been too spoiled with the goals this year,'' he said.
This matchup figures to be a physical affair with the Islanders averaging a league-high 30.6 hits and the Blue Jackets also ranking among the leaders at 27.3. Columbus has outhit New York 98-58 in this season's three matchups.
The Islanders are expected to start Jaroslav Halak, 5-0-2 with a 2.22 GAA in his last seven against the Blue Jackets with two wins this season. Halak, though, has allowed 10 goals in losing his last three outings.
Columbus begins a five-game homestand after taking two of three in Western Canada. New York vows it will be ready.
“We've just gotta stick with the program, it's a long season, it's a process,” coach Jack Capuano said. “We're going into a team that's coming off a pretty good road trip here in Columbus on Tuesday.”