Game 64 Preview: Altitude Sickness

February 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick (22) scores against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason (1) at Nationwide Arena. Colorado won the game 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Columbus Blue Jackets at Colorado Avalanche

March 1, 2012 - 9:00pm EST
Pepsi Center - Denver, Colorado
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Mile High Hockey

The Jackets are back on the road after an extended time at home, and they get to see a familiar foe; the Avalanche came into Nationwide on Friday and thumped the Jackets to the tune of 5-0. Columbus limped into the trading deadline, and despite playing about 42 minutes of solid hockey on Tuesday, are coming off of three straight disheartening losses.

James Wisniewski is questionable tonight with a leg injury (which would be the title of his 2011-2012 season review, I think) which means Aaron Johnson should draw in with Jack Johnson... I'm not going to make the toiletries joke. Steve Mason is back in net tonight, as well. Neither he nor Curtis Sanford has been especially solid of late.

The Avs are a team on the cusp of a playoff spot, and they have been playing inspired hockey of late. It's going to be a--wait for it--uphill climb for the Jackets tonight in the Mile High City.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(18-38-7, 43 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

R.J. Umberger Derick Brassard Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal Mark Letestu Cam Atkinson
Colton Gillies Derek MacKenzie Derek Dorsett
Ryan Russell Darryl Boyce Ryan Johansen
Fedor Tyutin Nikita Nikitin
Jack Johnson Aaron Johnson
John Moore Brett Lebda
Steve Mason
Curtis Sanford

Colorado Avalanche
(33-27-4, 70 Points; 2nd Division, 9th Conference)

Matt Duchene Paul Stastny Milan Hejduk
Gabriel Landeskog Ryan O`Reilly Steve Downie
Jamie McGinn Mark Olver David Jones
Cody McLeod Jay McClement Peter Mueller
Erik Johnson Shane O`Brien
Jan Hejda Ryan Wilson
Matt Hunwick Stefan Elliott
Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Season Series

10/12/11 - Colorado 2 at Columbus 1 (SO) - RECAP
02/24/12 - Colorado 5 at Columbus 0 - RECAP
03/01/12 - Columbus at Colorado
04/05/12 - Columbus at Colorado

Head to Head

Colorado Columbus
2.52 (20) GPG 2.27 (28)
2.69 (16) GAPG 3.29 (29)
18.7% (12) PP% 16.7% (18)
81.9% (18) PK% 75.7% (30)
Gabriel Landeskog, 18 G leader Rick Nash, 22
Ryan O'Reilly, 34 A leader Vinny Prospal, 28
Ryan O'Reilly, 50 Pts leader Rick Nash, 44
Cody McLeod, 136 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 179
18-13-1 Home/Road 7-20-4
2/27 vs. Anaheim, W 4-1 Last Game 2/28 vs. Detroit, L 5-2
7-2-1 Last 10 3-6-1
    Columbus has 19 games to go, and are going to have to find some kind of magical powers not to limp home below 50 points. Breaking their franchise record for season point total (low) is still staring them in the face, so we'll see how much pride they have.
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