Game Preview #82 - Finish The Right Way

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sport

The Jackets are still alive for any of the three possible playoffs spots, provided Philly continues to struggle and, well, provided the Jackets can beat the lowly Panthers.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers

April 12, 2014 - 7:00 pm EDT
BB&T Center - Sunrise, Florida
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Litter Box Cats

So, thanks to the Canes beating Detroit last night (and hopefully Philly tomorrow if it matters), and Philly's early game today with the Pens, the Jackets still hold on to the top WC spot and will know if they're still alive for third in the Metro by the time the puck drops. If Philly wins in regulation or overtime, they lock up that third spot. If Philly loses or wins in a shootout, the Jackets still have some life.

But, last night's loss hurt their chances to pass Philly, no doubt.

Before anyone gripes about sitting Bob (and yes, he probably stops at least one or two of those rough goals scored by Tampa last night), I am totally in support of resting him. Catching Philly would be nice, but blowing out your starting goaltender would not. Last night would have been seven games in 11 days for Bob had he played. Instead, there's not much pressure on him tonight and he can (hopefully) tune up for the playoffs.

For the Jackets, no news at the moment about the lineup, with the game last night and thus no morning skate. Frankly, it shouldn't matter. The Panthers are not good, and all that sits between them and golfing/laying on the beach is this one, meaningless game.

The Jackets should dominate them on Special Teams, and frankly should dominate them even strength as well. This is the game you should dominate if you truly want to go into the playoffs on a high note.

Let's get it done, and then let the seeding cards fall where they may.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(42-32-7, 91 Points; 4th division, 7th conference)

Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Blake Comeau
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Derek MacKenzie Artem Anisimov Jack Skille
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nick Schultz Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Florida Panthers
(29-44-8, 66 Points; 7th Division, 15th Conference)

Sean Bergenheim Nick Bjugstad Brad Boyes
Tomas Fleischmann Vincent Trocheck Scottie Upshall
Jonathan Huberdeau Drew Shore Jesse Winchester
Quinton Howden Brandon Pirri Jimmy Hayes
Dmitry Kulikov Brian Campbell
Erik Gudbranson Ed Jovanovski
Dylan Olsen Colby Robak
Roberto Luongo
Scott Clemmensen

Season Series

02/01/14 - Florida 1 at Columbus 4
03/01/14 - Florida 3 at Columbus 6
04/12/14 - Columbus at Florida

Head to Head Stats

Florida Columbus
2.30 (29) GPG 2.75 (13)
3.20 (28) GAPG 2.62 (13)
10.2% (30) PP% 18.9% (12)
76.3% (30) PK% 81.9% (18)
Brad Boyes, 21 G leader Ryan Johansen, 32
Brian Campbell, 29 A leader James Wisniewski, 43
Nick Bjugstad, 38 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 61
Erik Gudbranson, 114 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 98
16-19-5 Home/Road 20-17-3
4/10 vs. Toronto, W 4-2 Last Game 4/11 @ Tampa Bay, L 3-2
3-7-0 Last 10 6-3-1
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