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Game Preview #42 - Harrison Bergeron?

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In my favorite short story by my favorite author, the handicapped Harrison Bergeron shakes off his shackles and rises above... only to be ceremoniously gunned down. Sound familiar?

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets

January 16, 2015 - 7:00 pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Blueshirt Banter

I know I've gone to the Harrison Bergeron well before, recently even. That said, it really does feel appropriate. The Jackets shook off their handicaps in December, and danced higher and higher, leaping closer and closer to the ceiling. Just when they felt like they might break through...

BOOM.

Shotgun blast.

Three straight losses, to the tune of a 13-6 score and a gross, GROSS shot margin. Wednesday night's groin kick? Three straight PPGs given up in the span of three and a half minutes, to one of the worst PP units in the league.

In roster news, the Jackets formally placed Jack Skille onto IR, and recalled Josh Anderson to the big club. No word at the moment in time whether Anderson draws in and makes his NHL debut, but he can't be worse than the Collins/Tropp/Boll triumvirate, right? I'm curious to see what the kid can do. The lineup below is basically a copy of Wednesday's lineup, and we'll update after morning skate. [edit] Shawn Mitchell gives us some insight; lines updated. A lot. Prout is back in on defense, Matt Calvert may be out (not surprising given the shot he blocked off his foot/leg the other night), and the lines... wow. Just, wow.

For the Rangers, they've cooled off a touch, losing two straight including a shutout loss last night in Boston. In fact, they haven't scored a goal in two games. Perhaps this is just what the Jackets need: a team physically incapable of scoring a goal at all!

The Jackets should have the energy edge tonight, so maybe for once they won't get circles skated around them. That said, I wouldn't count on it. I would, however, expect to see Cam Talbot in net once again for the Rangers. Again, lineups will be updated as we know more.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(18-20-3, 39 Points; 7th division, 14th conference)

Scott Hartnell Ryan Johansen Nick Foligno
Jeremy Morin Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Sean Collins Mark Letestu Josh Anderson
Corey Tropp Brandon Dubinsky Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kevin Connauton James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

New York Rangers
(24-13-4, 52 Points; 4th Division, 8th Conference)

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

Season Series

10/11/14 - Rangers 2 at Columbus 5
01/16/15 - Rangers at Columbus
02/22/15 - Columbus at New York
04/06/15 - Columbus at New York

Head to Head Stats

NY Rangers Columbus
2.98 (9) GPG 2.49 (24)
2.37 (6) GAPG 3.24 (26)
20.0% (11) PP% 25.0% (2)
82.8% (11) PK% 78.8% (24)
Rick Nash, 26 G leader Nick Foligno, 18
Derick Brassard, 22 A leader Ryan Johansen, 24
Rick Nash, 41 Pts leader Nick Foligno, 41
Chris Kreider, 69 PIM leader Jared Boll, 58
11-7-1 Road/Home 9-11-2
7-3-0 Last 10 5-5-0
1/15 @ Boston, L 3-0 Last Game 1/14 vs. Montreal, L 3-2