March 1, 2014 - 2:00 pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Litter Box Cats
SBN's Panthers vs Blue Jackets Coverage
The Jackets are back in the friendly confines of Nationwide Arena this afternoon, in a rare matinee tilt against the Florida Panthers.
Both teams were in action Thursday evening, with the Jackets looking disjointed in a loss to the Devils, while the Panthers lost an exciting one on a late Alex Ovechkin goal. The Panthers are in the midst of another difficult season, but the Jackets are very much in the playoff hunt. At this point in the season, it's crucial for the Jackets to earn victories over teams that are so far below them in the standings. Must win? Yeah, that'll be the theme until the end of the regular season for the Jackets.
The Jackets will again be without Fedor Tyutin and Jared Boll, while the Panthers will be without the services of rookie Aleksander Barkov and Tomas Kopecky.
The game should be simple for the Jackets- beat the Panthers with special teams. The Panthers have the 30th-ranked powerplay and penalty kill- they are simply atrocious. With the return of Marian Gaborik on Thursday, the Jackets have a game-breaking weapon that should give their powerplay the juice it needs.
At this point it's looking like Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Tim Thomas in net, though that hasn't been confirmed at the time of this writing. I don't know about you guys, but I hope we see Timmeh, just for moments like this:
Columbus Blue Jackets
(29-25-5, 63 Points; 5th division, 10th conference)
|Nick Foligno||Artem Anisimov|
|Boone Jenner||Ryan Johansen||Nathan Horton|
|Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Ryan Murray||James Wisniewski|
(22-30-7, 51 Points; 7th Division, 15th Conference)
|Shawn Matthias||Krys Barch|
|Brian Campbell||Tom Gilbert|
|Erik Gudbranson||Ed Jovanovski|
02/01/14 - Florida 1 at Columbus 4
03/01/14 - Florida at Columbus
04/12/14 - Columbus at Florida
Head to Head Stats
|2.30 (28)||GPG||2.85 (8)|
|3.10 (27)||GAPG||2.80 (18)|
|9.2% (30)||PP%||18.3% (15)|
|76.4% (30)||PK%||81.5% (15)|
|Brad Boyes, 17||G leader||Ryan Johansen, 24|
|Tom Gilbert, 22||A leader||James Wisniewski, 30|
|Brad Boyes, 28||Pts leader||Ryan Johansen, 46|
|Erik Gudbranson, 81||PIM leader||Brandon Dubinsky, 86
|2/27 vs. Washington, L 5-4||Last Game||2/27 vs. New Jersey, L 5-2|