The New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets are set for a Metropolitan battle that could determine playoff positioning for both teams. The Islanders downed the Blue Jackets by a score of three to nothing in their last contest, but this is a different Columbus team that now features Ryan Dzingel, Matt Duchene, and for some reason Adam McQuaid and Long Island-native Keith Kinkaid. The latter two are not really improvements to many if any hockey teams, but the former should serve to make the Blue Jackets a much better team.
The Islanders will make changes to their lineup tonight as Thomas Hickey comes in for an injured Johnny Boychuk while Andrew Ladd comes in for a healthy Michael Dal Colle. Dal Colle does not deserve to be a healthy scratch on a team that features Leo Komarov and Matt Martin in the lineup, but they’re seasoned veterans while Dal Colle isn’t. Offense has been a concern for the Islanders - Lou Lamoriello considered Hickey and Ladd deadline acquisitions, but if they’re not displacing the worst of the lineup, then they aren’t upgrades.
Thomas Greiss will get the start in net. Robin Lehner practiced, but will not play. Christopher Gibson will back up once again.
Game time is at 7:00 P.M. E.S.T.