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Game 56 Preview: Jackets look to cool down the Kings

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The Jackets are at home against the surprising Kings tonight, where Steve Mason looks to get back-to-back starts for the first time since October. He'll go up against US Olympian Jonathan Quick. The flu bug is wreaking havoc on the Columbus blueline, with Stralman and Jurcina likely out tonight. Look for Matty Roy and Marc Methot to suit up in their place.

The Kings are playing very well right now, surprising many with their place in the standings. They have good young players, and veterans who contribute. This will not be an easy game for the Jackets tonight, they are potentially without two of their better defensemen (including their two best-shooting defensemen) and the Kings skilled forwards will have the ability to overwhelm the defense.

Mase will need to be sharp tonight, and Brass will need to continue anchoring the second line.

Fearless Prediction: Steve Mason finally wins back-to-back starts.

Game Time: 7:00pm ET

Opponent's Blog: Jewels From The Crown

Game Page: Kings vs Blue Jackets coverage

TSN Preview: Kings vs Blue Jackets preview

TV: FSN

Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)

More after the jump...

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Look for checking-line center Sammy Pahlsson to get matched up with the Kings' top-line anchor, Anze Kopitar, who had two goals in L.A.'s 6-2 win on Oct. 25. Los Angeles has won five of its past six games, despite a 1-of-29 power-play slump. The Blue Jackets are 10-2-1 at home against the Kings since 2002-03.

Jackets Links:

Columbus Blue Jackets / Columbus Blue Jackets Schedule

Columbus Blue Jackets Roster / Columbus Blue Jackets Stats

Here are the lineups for tonight's tilt:

Columbus Blue Jackets

Kristian Huselius
Antoine Vermette
Rick Nash
R.J. Umberger
Derick Brassard
Jakub Voracek
Fredrik Modin
Samuel Pahlsson
Chris Clark
Raffi Torres
Andrew Murray
Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin Marc Methot
Mathieu Roy
Kris Russell
Jan Hejda
Mike Commodore

Steve Mason
Mathieu Garon

EXTRA: None

INJURED/SICK: Derek Dorsett, Anton Stralman, Milan Jurcina, Rostislav Klesla

Los Angeles Kings

Brad Richardson
Anze Kopitar
Wayne Simmonds
Ryan Smyth
Jarret Stoll
Dustin Brown
Alexander Frolov
Michal Handzus
Scott Parse
Raitis Ivanans
Oscar Moller
Brandon Segal

Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi
Sean O'Donnell
Jack Johnson
Matt Greene
Peter Harrold

Jonathan Quick
Erik Ersberg