1. The Isles grabbed the early lead as Kyle Okposo and Sean Begenheim scored 62 seconds apart to give the Isles a 2-0 lead before the first television timeout. It was Okposo's 17th goal of the season, one fewer than he had last season when he led the squad.
2. RJ Umberger scored the only goal of the second period, recording his 21st goal just 51 seconds into play. RJ now has 50 points on the season (21-29-50), matching a career high. It was Umberger's 11th goal in 25 games against the Isles.
3. The Blue Jackets struck for two goals in the first 1:18 of the third to grab the led. Rick Nash's 31st goal tied the game just 33 seconds into play; Grant Clitsome, playing just his 4th NHL game then gave the Jackets the lead. Jon Sim tied the game at 4:14 of the third, setting the stage for Bailey's overtime heroics.
... a few more...
4. Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves to record his 23rd win of the season, which equals the third highest total of his career; Mathieu Garon had 24 saves for Columbus.
5. The Jackets went 1-4 on the power play while the Isles did not have a single power play opportunity for the second time this month (3/2 vs. Chicago). It's the first time since November 17, 2006 in Tampa Bay that the Isles have not had a power play in a road game.
6. Bailey assisted on Sim's goal before scoring the winner. It was his 19th assist, one more than he had last season. He now has career highs in goals, assists, and points (15-19-34).
7. With the win, the Isles rewrote several sections of their record book:
Most overtime games 23 (previous record 22 in 2006-07); also played 22 ties in 1974-75.
Most overtime/shootout wins 13 (previous record 12 in 2005-06)
Most overtime goals 6 (ties record set in 2001-02)
Most overtime games, road 13 (ties record set in 1993-94)
Most overtime goals, road 5 (previous record 4 in 1985-86)
Most overtime goals, season (one player) 2, (ties record held by several others, including Kyle Okposo earlier this season)
Most overtime goals, season, road (one player) 2, ties record set by Pierre Turgeon in 92-93 and again in 93-94, and equaled by Okposo earlier this season
8. Sims' tying goal and Bailey's winner helped overshadow that the Isles lost another third period lead. They have been oustcored 82-43 in the third period this season.
9. The Isles improve to 2-2-1 in their last five on the road and 5-2-2 in their last nine overall. They are now 11-21-7 in road games this season; their 29 road points are eight more than last season's total. The eight point improvement is their biggest since improving by 21 points on the road between 2000-01 and 2001-02. The Isles end the season 10-6-2 against the West and 5-1-1 against the Central Division. Buffalo is the only other Eastern Conference team to beat the West ten times this season (Washington has nine wins, with one game to play). The Isles finish with the best record of any Eastern team against the Central, losing only to St. Louis (0-1-1).
10. The Isles sweep the season series two games to none, and four points to two. The Isles have beaten Columbus four times since the Jackets came into the NHL; with the exception of a Rick DiPietro shutout in 2006, all of their wins have come in either overtime or shootouts. The Isles now have 72 points, putting them eight points behind Boston for the final playoff spot (with seven games to play). With the win, the Isles move into a tie for 25th in the overall standings; three points separates 25th and 29th.
The Isles return home to battle the Rangers on Tuesday night. It's the final meeting of the season between the Isles and Rangers this season. The Rangers blanked the Isles 5-0 on Wednesday; they have not done had consecutive shutouts against the Isles in regular season play since blanking them 6-0, 6-0 in a home-and-home series in 1973. The Rangers also won the first two games on the 1994 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals against the Isles by that identical set of scores. The Isles lead the season series three games to 2 (and six points to five). The teams have split two games at the Coliseum this season. This is the first of a four-game homestand for the Isles, who will play five of their final seven games at home.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
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