Game Preview: Columbus Looking to Rebound After Ugly Loss to Islanders

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Columbus Blue Jackets are looking to rebound after an ugly shutout courtesy of the New York Islanders last night at Nationwide Arena.

In Columbus netminder Joonas Korpisalo’s first start since returning from injury, the shots were not in his favor as he gave up six goals on thirty-three shots.

The Islanders have been a bit of a letdown this season after the team finished fourth in the NHL in points during the 2020-2021 campaign, boasting an impressive 32-17-7 record. However, the tide has turned for the Isles this season, as they had only won three games in eight total, dating back to February 22. New York certainly made a clear statement last night – scoring six goals and going 2/3 on the power play.

Columbus now looks ahead to the Minnesota Wild this evening, a team that the Blue Jackets have not yet seen this season. The Wild are currently third in the Central Division with 71 points, only two behind the St. Louis Blues. Columbus is currently 28-27-3 and would fall to .500 with a loss tonight.

The Blue Jackets are currently predicted to start Elvis Merzlikins in net and the rest of the lineup is very similar to last night against New York. Gavin Bayreuther and Brendan Gaunce are scratched for Columbus, with Alexander Texier still injured and unavailable after injuring his hand earlier in the season.

Minnesota is currently riding a two-game win streak after defeating the Rangers on March 8th and Detroit in a shootout last night. The Wild are predicted to start Kappo Kahkonen at goaltender, who last played March 6th against the Dallas Stars, where he gave up four goals on twenty-one shots. The Finnish netminder has a .912 save percentage on the year and has a GAA of 2.86. If Columbus is going to outsmart Kahkonen and the tough Minnesota defense, they’re going to have to make cleaner passes, be smarter with their shots, and help Merzlikins in the crease.

Puck drop between Columbus and Minnesota is at 7 PM EST at Nationwide Arena.