It was only the second game of an 82-game season but Saturday’s Metropolitan Division opener on Long Island seemed bigger to the Blue Jackets.

The Jackets were a mixture of elation and relief after beating the New York Islanders 3-2 in a shootout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Elation because they came back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to win on the road. Relief because they rediscovered their game — fast-skating relentless checking — that seemed a distant memory on Friday in a season-opening loss to the Calgary Flames.

“This is huge” center Ryan Johansen said. “Nobody felt good about Friday. A lot of guys struggled myself included. Even though we were down 2-0 (after two periods) we felt like we were playing good hockey. But it’s hard to be happy if you don’t win. We needed the points.”

The Blue Jackets don’t play against until Thursday at Buffalo. An 0-2 start might have conjured memories of seasons past.

“Four days to brew on it” said forward Mark Letestu who had a power-play goal and scored in the second round of the shootout. “You can live with 1-1 after two games. But 0-2? I think you already saw the desperation. We feel good about ourselves now. This has changed the mood in the room considerably.”

The Blue Jackets were ominously quiet as they took a morning skate on Saturday. Coach Todd Richards was uncertain of a lineup he said until mid-afternoon. But by the end of the night he was beaming. He had his team back.

“We were engaged; everyone was” Richards said. “It wasn’t just four five six guys it was the whole team. You could tell by some of the hits early on that it was different (from Friday). We were playing with speed.”