Evgeni Nabokov keys Islanders’ shutout of Blue Jackets

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Uniondale, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Evgeni Nabokov recorded his third shutout of the season as the New York Islanders dented the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Stanley Cup Playoff hopes with a 2-0 win Sunday at Nassau County Coliseum.

Nabokov recorded 41 saves for his 58th career shutout while Cal Clutterbuck and defenseman Travis Hamonic scored as the Islanders, who are out of the playoff hunt, improved to 27-35-9.

Entering the game, the Blue Jackets (36-29-6) alternated wins and losses in their past six and had an opportunity to at least temporarily move into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Instead, they dropped their second straight to remain outside of the playoff picture in 10th place with 78 points and 11 games remaining.

The Blue Jackets have been suffering because of their woeful power play. After going 0-for-6 Sunday, Columbus is now 0-for-35 in the past 10 games dating back to March 4.

Playing their first game in four days, the Islanders opening the scoring when Clutterbuck scored his 10th of the season at 13:26.

After the puck was chipped into the corner, rookie Johan Sundstrom’s wraparound attempt was stopped by Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 30 shots for the Blue Jackets.

With Frans Neilsen battling Matt Calvert, Clutterbuck picked up the loose puck and beat Bobrovsky for his 10th goal.

Nielsen’s assist gave him 50 points for the first time in his career. Sundstrom had the secondary assist for his first NHL point.

Hamonic gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead when he fired a wrist shot past Bobrovsky for his first goal since Oct. 29, a span of 45 games.

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