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National Hockey League
NY Islanders 5, Columbus 2
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 31, 2022
Where: UBS Arena, Elmont, New York
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Conor O'Donnell
Linesmen: Travis Toomey, Killian McNamara
Attendance: 17255

Kyle Palmieri, Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock scored in the third period Thursday night for the New York Islanders, who completed a home-and-home sweep of the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 5-2 win in Elmont, N.Y.

Sebastian Aho and Oliver Wahlstrom scored 11 seconds apart in the first for the Islanders, who beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in Ohio on Tuesday night. Goalie Semyon Varlamov earned the win Thursday by making 30 saves.

The Islanders are 10-4-1 in their past 15 games to move ahead of Columbus into ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have 69 points, but New York has two games in hand.

Emil Bemstrom and Justin Danforth scored fewer than two minutes apart in the second for the Blue Jackets, who have lost five straight (0-3-2). Goalie Elvis Merzlikins recorded 31 saves.

The Islanders had the game's first eight shots before Aho and Wahlstrom scored on consecutive chances.

Aho, stationed at the Blue Jackets' blue line, picked off a clearing pass by Dean Kukan and exchanged the puck with Brock Nelson before firing a shot that clipped off Merzlikins' glove at the 8:39 mark.

Zach Parise won the subsequent faceoff with Cole Sillinger, and Barzal sent a backhanded chip to Parise to begin a two-on-one opportunity. With Blue Jackets defenseman Gabriel Carlsson trailing a step behind, Parise dished backwards to Wahlstrom, whose shot sailed past the sprawling Merzlikins.

The Blue Jackets tied the score with their own flurry around the midway point of the second. Varlamov turned back a shot by Brendan Gaunce, and Jake Bean's shot sailed wide of the net before Eric Robinson collected the rebound and backhanded a pass into the crease to Bemstrom. The center scored over Varlamov's stick shoulder 8:47 into the period.

The Blue Jackets tied the score 99 seconds later when Danforth, battling for position in the crease with Noah Dobson, backhanded home a rebound of a shot by Vladislav Gavrikov.

Palmieri broke the tie 3:16 into the third when he fired a shot over Merzlikins' glove shoulder and into the top of the net. Barzal added an unassisted insurance goal with 10:08 left, when he outraced Gavrikov and Andrew Peeke to a loose puck in the neutral zone and beat Merzlikins on the breakaway.

Pulock scored a length-of-the-ice empty-netter with 56.7 seconds remaining.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Columbus   NY Islanders
Emil Bemstrom 1 Points Mathew Barzal 2
Emil Bemstrom 1 Goals Mathew Barzal 1
Jake Bean 1 Assists Mathew Barzal 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Elvis Merzlikins .886 Save Percentage Semyon Varlamov .938
Elvis Merzlikins 31 Saves Semyon Varlamov 30
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Columbus 32 2 0-3 1-1 2 28
NY Islanders 36 5 0-1 3-3 6 21
Upcoming Games
  • NY Islanders will play their next game on the road against NY Rangers. The Islanders have a W/L % of .379 after a win and .514 after a loss.
  • Columbus will play their next game on the road against Boston. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .438 after a win and .500 after a loss.