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Jackets Game 3 Preview: Home Opener!

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The Jackets play their first game on Nationwide Arena ice this evening, taking on the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Much has been said about the Hawks roster turnover this past off-season, but they remain a dangerous team. Led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa up front, and Norris trophy winner Duncan Keith on the blueline, the 'Hawks also feature newcomer Marty Turco between the pipes.

The Jackets will be without winger Jared Boll for a second straight game, as he is nursing a back injury. The Jackets may ice 11 forwards and seven defensemen as they did last game against San Jose, or we could see the season debut of either Chris Clark or Kyle Wilson and one of the blueliners will sit. If the latter holds true, it will be interesting to see who is in the pressbox. My guess is Marc Methot.

The team needs to focus on staying out of the penalty box. Aside from the obvious advantage it gives the opposition, it severely decreases the ice time available to the players who don't kill penalties. The 678 line of Derick Brassard flanked by Nikita Filatov and Jakub Voracek, strictly five-on-five and powerplay guys, hasn't been able to get into a rhythm.

Essentials:

Game Time: 7:00pm EST
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Radio: WWCD-FM (101.1)
Blackhawks vs Blue Jackets Coverage
Opponent Blog: Second City Hockey

Blue Jackets Information:

Team Page Schedule
Roster Statistics

Lineups:

Columbus Blue Jackets

Kristian Huselius
Antoine Vermette
Rick Nash
Nikita Filatov
Derick Brassard
Jakub Voracek
Ethan Moreau
Samuel Pahlsson
R.J. Umberger
Derek Dorsett
Derek MacKenzie
Chris Clark

Rostislav Klesla
Kris Russell
Jan Hejda
Marc Methot
Anton Stralman
Fedor Tyutin

Steve Mason
Mathieu Garon

Extra: Kyle Wilson, Mike Commodore

Injured / Sick: Jared Boll, Andrew Murray, Tomas Kana

Chicago Blackhawks

Tomas Kopecky
Jonathan Toews
Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell
Patrick Sharp
Troy Brouwer
Viktor Stalberg
David Bolland
Jack Skille
Fernando Pisani
Jake Dowell
XXXXX

Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Nick Leddy
Nick Boynton
John Scott
Jordan Hendry

Marty Turco
Corey Crawford