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Game Preview #2 - Jackets Host the Rangers

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Rick Nash and the New York Rangers are in town for the Jackets' home opener.

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers

October 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm EDT
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Blueshirt Banter

After opening the season on the road Thursday with a win in Buffalo, the Jackets open up the home portion of their schedule tonight against Rick Nash and the visiting Rangers.

At writing time the Jackets were going with the same lineup they iced on Thursday, with Sergei Bobrovsky likely getting the start in net. In the opposite cage will be Rangers' backup Cam Talbot. Jackets still getting the backup treatment eh?

The one major line tinker during last game was moving Alex Wennberg to a line with Scott Hartnell and Artem Anismov, switching places with Marko Dano, who was moved to a line with Mark Letestu and Matt Calvert. Both rookies impressed after settling in on their new lines, and will look to build on their impressive debuts in front of the home fans.

Ryan Johansen will continue to get his legs and lungs up to game pace. Centering a line with Nick Foligno and Cam Atkinson, the trio has potential to score a boatload of goals, and until the likes of Brandon Dubinsky, Boone Jenner and perhaps Nathan Horton return they'll be looked at to do just that. Cam has been terrific in preseason and looked good again in the season opener-if he can really start to click with Johansen that combo can be absolutely lethal this season.

The fans will be charged up, not only because it's the first home game of the season, but there's also the matter of Rick Nash returning to Columbus. He was given his small tribute last season but he's the enemy and the fans will no doubt be extra vocal when he's got the puck.

The Rangers are dealing with injuries to Derek Stepan and Dan Boyle, while the Jackets are missing the aforementioned Dubinsky, Jenner and Horton.

The building will be electric, and the Jackets will need to feed off that energy and have contributions from the whole lineup tonight. The Rangers have a potent attack, but they are depleted on defense. The team can't rely on Bob to steal the game.

If you're going to the rink, enjoy and make sure you're LOUD. For those watching at home or at an establishment, enjoy!

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(Season Standings: 1-0-0, 2 Points; T-1st Metro, T-2nd Eastern Conference)

Scott Hartnell Artem Anisimov Alexander Wennberg
Nick Foligno Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert Mark Letestu Marko Dano
Jack Skille Michael Chaput Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Tim Erixon James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

New York Rangers
(Season Standings: 1-0-0, 2 Points; T-1st Metro, T-2nd Eastern Conference)

Chris Kreider
Martin St. Louis
Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin
Derick Brassard
Mats Zuccarello
Anthony Duclair
Kevin Hayes
Lee Stempniak
J.T. Miller
Dominic Moore
Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh
Dan Girardi
Marc Staal
Kevin Klein
John Moore
Matt Hunwick
Cameron Talbot
Henrik Lundqvist

Season Series

10/11/14 - Rangers at Columbus
01/16/15 - Rangers at Columbus
02/22/15 - Columbus at New York
04/06/15 - Columbus at New York

'14-'15 Head to Head Stats

Rangers
Columbus
3.00 (T-10) GPG 3.00 (T-10)
2.00 (T-7) GAPG 1.00 (T-3)
0.0% (T-19) PP% 25.0% (T-9)
100.0% (T-1) PK% 100.0% (T-1)
Nash, 2
G leader Three at 1
St. Louis, 2
A leader Six at 1
Nash, 3
Pts leader Nine at 1
Zuccarello,9 PIM leader Boll, Tyutin, 2
1-0-0 Road/Home 0-0-0