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Islanders Game 7 Preview at Columbus Blue Jackets: Lines, Best Bets, How To Watch




In only their second road game of the season, the New York Islanders visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Here’s what you need to know ahead of time.

Dobson Becoming Top Defenseman:

Through six games this season, Noah Dobson leads the Islanders in points and has put his name on the stat sheet in five straight contests. That’s not all that surprising. What is, though, are the leaps Dobson has made on defense as he’s shaping into the top defenseman the Islanders always wanted him to be.

Varlamov Gets The Knod:

Semyon Varlamov will get his second start of the season Saturday against the Blue Jackets.

Varlamov stopped 39 of 42 shots his last time out but didn’t get much help from the Islanders in front of him as they lost 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 21.

Allowing an increased amount shots has become an issue for the Islanders lately. In their last four games, the Islanders have allowed 168 shots. That’s the most they’ve allowed in a four-game stretch since February 2018.

Projected Lineup:










Lineups per Andrew Gross of Newsday

Last Time Out:

The Islanders defeated the Ottawa Senators on Thursday to snap a three-game losing streak.

Ilya Sorokin had to make 45 saves in net, while Noah Dobson added two more points to his total with an assist and the game-winning goal.

Goals from Bo Horvat and Cal Clutterbuck gave the Islanders an early 2-0 lead in the first. The Senators drew even during the second period while the Islanders committed seven penalties in the frame.

However, the more important thing to happen on Thursday was the scary incident in which Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom was taken off the ice via a stretcher.

Brannstrom landed on his head after being checked into the boards by Clutterbuck in the second period and appeared unconscious.

The Senators have since announced that Brannstrom has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be out of action for some time.

The Opponent:

The Columbus Blue Jackets are 3-2-2 through seven games this season and have lost their last two games in overtime.

On Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens, the Blue Jackets led  l3-1 midway through the game but allowed three goals down the stretch, eventually losing in the last minute of the extra period.

New Blue Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent said earlier today he has not made any final decisions on his starting lineup or starting goalie against the Islanders tonight.

Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner leads Columbus in goals, while Jack Roslovic and the newly acquired Ivan Provorov are tied for the team lead in points.

Columbus is league average on the power play and penalty kill, ranking 16th and 15th, respectively.

Best Bets:

Cal Clutterbuck has scored two goals in his last two games. Bet on him as an any-time goal scorer against Columbus using odds presented by Draft Kings.

Who To Watch:

The Islanders have allowed an alarming amount of shots in their last handful of games. Varlamov and his goaltending tandem partner Ilya Sorokin have both played solid in net but shouldn’t be expected to stop 35-plus shots a night. Tonight is a chance for the Islanders to reset.

How well can they limit chances against a Blue Jackets team that has a hard time creating them in the first place?

How To Watch:

Puck drop between the Islanders and Blue Jackets from Nationwide Arena is scheduled for just past 7:30 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on MSG Network and streamed on MSG+ or ESPN+ for out-of-market viewers. 88.7 FM WRHU will broadcast the radio feed of the game, which can also be heard on 103.9 FM WRCN or streamed….something about ESPN.




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