Jay Bouwmeester, Jeff Carter

Break up those red hot Blue Jackets

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All right so it’s not exactly like the Bruins’ nine-game win streak, but the Blue Jackets winning back-to-back games is rare enough as it is. After beating Calgary 4-1 last night, it marked the first time Columbus won back-to-back games since February 18-25, 2011 when they won three in a row.

For a team in desperate need of wins to save everyone’s job and to prevent a team-wide shakeup from going down, a couple wins does a world of good and it’s Jeff Carter and Curtis Sanford they’ve got to thank for it.

After going silent and dealing with injury, Carter has goals in two straight game including two against Calgary. After snapping out of his goal funk in the Jackets’ 4-3 overtime win against Nashville, it looks like maybe, just maybe, he’s feeling at home in Columbus. That makes for a drastic change considering it was just last week there were rumors that he wanted out of town.

The team’s other hero is journeyman goalie Curtis Sanford. Sanford was signed in the offseason to be the team’s third string goalie and AHL starter. Instead, he’s been the backup to Steve Mason and when given the chance to play has looked strong even in losses. While he’s not expected to be a savior, they just need average goaltending especially since Mason was giving them below-average efforts as it was.

It’s not ground breaking play from Columbus, but the bar is low and wins coming at anytime are good things. At the very least, with the Isles stinking things up they may not be the worst team in the league for long.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.