Game Preview #28 - Ride The Lightning

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

It's Jekyl's turn, by way of recent trends. Can the Jackets use the return of Brandon Dubinsky to catch lightning in a bottle once more?

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets

December 3, 2013 - 7:00pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Raw Charge
SBN's Lightning vs. Blue Jackets coverage
Tickets

First and foremost, my apologies for the lateness of today's preview. Sometimes work Dan gets in the way of hockey blogger Dan.

Biggest news for tonight, of course, is the return of Brandon Dubinsky. He's back from the foot issue that kept him out for a couple of weeks. Michael Chaput will get the scratch, and the lines will get juggled. I have to say that I don't understand the reasoning behind R.J. Umberger on the top line, give how he's been much better on the third line and that the top line has been playing well.

At any rate, some serious shuffling looks to be happening. I find myself wondering if the third line (these are listed on bluejackets.com) might not be thrown out in more offensive-minded situations, and the second line might get some more of the tough defensive draws.

The Jackets continued their good-game-bad-game stretch, and by that rationale they're due for another good one. That said, Tampa Bay's a bit of a different animal from Edmonton. THAT said, so was Toronto. Despite not having Steven Stamkos, the Lightning haven't really slowed down as much as you might expect with him out of the lineup. They're 4-4-1 with him out of the lineup since his leg injury, which is obviously a drop-off. That said, they've put that up against a tough, tough schedule, including a west coast road trip. So, all is not as bad as it seems.

They face a tough, tough Ben Bishop in goal, who's sporting a 2.08 gaa and .931 save percentage. In other words, this should go swimmingly.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(10-14-3, 23 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)

Nick Foligno Ryan Johansen R.J. Umberger
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Blake Comeau
Boone Jenner Artem Anisimov Cam Atkinson
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Jack Skille
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Tampa Bay Lightning
(16-9-1, 33 Points; 4th Division, 5th Conference)

J.T. Brown Valtteri Filppula Martin St. Louis
Teddy Purcell Alex Killorn Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat Tyler Johnson Richard Panik
Dana Tyrell Nate Thompson B.J. Crombeen
Victor Hedman Sami Salo
Matt Carle Andrej Sustr
Mark Barberio Eric Brewer
Ben Bishop
Anders Lindback

Season Series

12/03/13 - Tampa Bay at Columbus
01/13/14 - Tampa Bay at Columbus
04/11/14 - Columbus at Tampa Bay

Head to Head Stats

Tampa Bay
Columbus
2.81 (10) GPG 2.44 (22)
2.54 (13) GAPG 2.93 (23)
17.0% (19) PP% 20.4% (8)
84.8% (10) PK% 79.1% (22)
Steven Stamkos, 14 G leader Ryan Johansen, 10
Martin St. Louis, 14 A leader James Wisniewski, 16
Martin St. Louis, 24
Pts leader Ryan Johansen 19
Radko Gudas, 68 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 40
6-6-1 Road/Home 5-7-1
11/29 vs. Pittsburgh, L 3-0 Last Game 11/30 @ Boston, L 3-1
4-5-1 Last 10 4-4-2

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