Blue Jackets 3, Islanders 2 (SO)

The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Cam Atkinson's shootout goal on Saturday night capped a comeback and lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win in the New York Islanders' home opener at Nassau Coliseum.

Columbus went last in the shootout and Atkinson, the fourth Blue Jackets player to shoot, faked Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov to the left and beat him with a shot into the right-hand corner of the net.

Mark Letestu, who scored Columbus' first goal in the third period, gave the Blue Jackets the lead in the shootout with a shot that clanged off the top of the net and in. But Matt Moulson extended the shootout by beating Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky with a shot into the upper left corner.

The Blue Jackets, who lost 4-3 to Calgary on Friday night, improved to 1-1. The Islanders, who won their season opener on Friday night with a 4-3 shootout victory over New Jersey, fell to 1-0-1.

Ryan Johansen scored the tying goal for the Blue Jackets in the third period.

Moulson and Lubomir Visnovsky scored in the second period for the Islanders. John Tavares, playing his first home game since being named the Islanders' captain, had two assists.

Bobrovsky made 27 saves and Nabokov had 26 in net for the Islanders.

The game pitted two of the most surprising teams of the lockout-shortened 2013 season, but the Islanders -- who snapped a five-season playoff drought by finishing eighth in the East and taking Pittsburgh to six games in a heated quarterfinal -- seemed to be the

only ones building momentum in the first two periods.

Visnovsky broke a scoreless tie at 8:17 of the second priod when his shot from just inside the blue line -- and from the NHL shield in the NHL Face-Off logo -- sailed past Bobrovsky. The power play goal was set up by a hooking penalty on Artem Anisimov and capped a

several-minute flurry by the Islanders.

Less than six minutes later, Moulson took Tavares' no-look clearing pass from the right corner and tucked the puck into the right corner of the net.

The Blue Jackets, who finished tied for eighth in the West last year but missed out on the second playoff berth in franchise history via a tiebreaker, stormed back in the third period and outshot the Islanders 12-7.

Letestu picked up a loose puck in a scrum in front of the goal and fired it past Nabokov for a power play goal at 7:45. The goal was set up by a high sticking penalty on Travis Hamonic.

Columbus tied the score less than five minutes later when R.J. Umberger skated up the right side and dished to Nick Foligno, whose shot glanced off Nabokov's pads. Johansen stormed in, danced around the Islanders' Brock Nelson and scored the equalizer.

Marian Gaborik had two point-blank chances for Columbus before the Islanders killed a penalty in the final three minutes. A holding call on the Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson gave New York a power play in the final minute, but Franz Nielsen missed two point-blank

shots of his own as the game went into overtime.

Kyle Okposo had a couple chances during the resumption of the power play in overtime before Nabokov turned back near-misses from Letestu, Matt Calvert and Johnson.

NOTES: The Islanders scratched left winger Eric Boulton and defensemen Matt Carkner and Griffin Reinhart. The Blue Jackets scratched right winger Jared Boll and defensemen Tim Erixon and Fedor Tyutin. ... Columbus coach Todd Richards hopes Boll (upper-body injury) can return to action when the Blue Jackets visit Buffalo. ... Before Saturday night, the two teams hadn't played on Long Island since Nov. 24, 2010, when Columbus won 4-3 in overtime. ... For the Islanders, Saturday marked the first of four straight games against teams they did not face during the lockout-shortened 2013 season. New York hosts Phoenix on Tuesday before visiting Chicago and Nashville on Friday and Saturday.
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