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Tavares scores 35th goal, but Jackets late rally keeps Isles slump going

Islanders Blue Jackets Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets’ Ryan Johansen (19) scores against New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41), of Slovakia, during the shootout an NHL hockey game, Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus won 4-3. (AP Photo/Mike Munden)


The New York Islanders haven’t won back-to-back games since Feb. 24-27. They came close to ending that slump tonight, but ultimately suffered a 4-3 shootout loss to Columbus.

At no point prior to the skills competition did the Blue Jackets lead in this game. Enforcer Eric Boulton, playing in his 644th career contest, was the unconventional source of the Islanders’ first goal just 2:54 minutes into the game. John Tavares gave the Islanders a 2-1 edge in the second period by netting his 35th goal of the season:

The Islanders took a 3-1 lead early in the third period, but Columbus rallied back with Ryan Johansen tying the contest just 3:43 minutes prior to the end of regulation time.

The skills competition proved to be one-sided with Mark Letestu and Johansen each beating Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak to end the shootout after two rounds.

With eight straight wins, Columbus has tied its franchise record, although the squad won’t make the playoffs this season regardless. The Islanders almost certainly will, but they are coasting off of their past success. After this loss, New York is 4-7-4 since its last two-game winning streak.

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