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Struggling Blue Jackets look for spark against Islanders

Columbus (4-6-1) at NY Islanders (2-7-1), 7:00 pm EDT

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have

played well enough to win lately. Despite their encouraging

play, the losses have still piled up.

Looking for a spark after several deflating defeats, the Blue

Jackets hit the road Monday to take on the lowly New York

Islanders.

Columbus has dropped four of its last five - all by two goals or

less - including a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks

on Saturday.

Fredrik Norrena started in goal for Columbus during the loss,

and is expected to do the same in this one while starter Pascal

Leclaire continues to miss time with an ankle injury. Norrena

is 1-3-1 with a 3.00 goals-against average.

Center Derick Brassard continued his strong play Saturday,

notching two assists. He now has a three-game point streak and

has 11 points in as many games this season.

The Blue Jackets are 6-1-0 with a tie in the all-time series

against the Islanders, but the one loss came in the teams' most

recent meeting - a 4-0 decision on December 23, 2006.

New York has gone 0-5-1 over its last six games - its longest

skid since losing seven in a row (0-6-1) from January 24 to

February 9 last season.

Before the start of Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Montreal

Canadiens, the Islanders found out that goaltender Rick DiPietro

would be sidelined for four to six weeks after undergoing

arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

He had been limited to three appearances this season, recovering

from offseason surgeries on both his hip and knee. He then

suffered his latest setback injury during the first period of a

4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on October 25.

Joey MacDonald has been the mainstay in goal for the Islanders,

going 2-4-1 with a 3.42 GAA.

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