Game 38 Preview: Back to Work

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sport

After a few days off for the holidays, the Jackets are back at it tonight in New Jersey.

Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils

December 10, 2013 - 7:00 pm EST
Prudential Center - Newark, NJ
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: In Lou We Trust
Blue Jackets vs Devils coverage
Tickets

The Christmas break is over, and the NHL is back in action. The holiday season is still upon us, however, and here's hoping that everybody is having a safe and happy time with friends and family.

The Jackets are back to work tonight in New Jersey, for the first time this season. From a standings perspective this game is huge, as the Jackets can leapfrog the Devils with a victory, drawing even with the idle Flyers for the third and final divisional playoff spot. The Rangers, also tied with the Flyers at 38 points, are facing the Capitals tonight. A win would also bring the Jackets back to .500.

In their final game prior to the break, the Jackets earned a gutsy win over the 'Canes, while the Devils were blasted by the Blackhawks.

The goaltending matchup features Curtis McElhinney against Martin Brodeur. Other notable roster notes include the return of Ryane Clowe to the Devils lineup, Matt Calvert, Nathan Horton, Marian Gaborik, Jared Boll and Dalton Prout out with injuries for Columbus, while Tim Erixon is a healthy scratch.

The Jackets will need to set the pace early, and avoid letting the Devils run things ther way on home ice. Scoring the opening goal is critical.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(16-17-4, 36 Points; 6th division, 12th conference)

Nick Foligno Ryan Johansen R.J. Umberger
Brandon Dubinsky
Artem Anisimov
Cam Atkinson
Blake Comeau
Derek MacKenzie
Jack Skille
Boone Jenner
Mark Letestu Corey Tropp
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin David Savard
Curtis McElhinney
Mike McKenna

New Jersey Devils
(15-16-7, 37 Points; 5th division, 10th conference)

Dainius Zubrus Travis Zajac Jaromir Jagr
Mattias Tedenby
Patrik Elias Steve Bernier
Reid Boucher
Adam Henrique Michael Ryder
Ryane Clowe Andrei Loktionov Stephen Gionta
Andy Greene Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov Jon Merrill
Eric Gelinas Marek Zidlicky
Martin Brodeur
Cory Schneider

Season Series

10/22/13 - New Jersey 1 at Columbus 4
12/10/13 - New Jersey 4 at Columbus 5
12/27/13 - Columbus at New Jersey
02/27/14 - Columbus at New Jersey

Head to Head Stats

New Jersey Columbus
2.42 (23) GPG 2.70 (13)
2.47 (12) GAPG 2.84 (20)
19.1% (12) PP% 18.2% (15)
85.8% (5) PK% 81.8% (18)
Jaromir Jagr, 13 G leader Ryan Johansen, 15
Jaromir Jagr, 20 A leader James Wisniewski, 18
Jaromir Jagr, 33 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 30
Marek Zidlicky, 38 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 68
7-5-4 Home/Road 7-9-2
12/23 @ Chicago, L 5-2 Last Game 12/23 @ Carolina, W 4-3
4-4-2 Last 10 6-3-1
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