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Game Preview #74 - Hot At The Right Time

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The Blue Jackets look to sweep the season series from the Blackhawks while winning their seventh straight road game, all while trying to get back to .500 for the season. Yep, that's a list of things that could actually happen.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks

March 27, 2015 - 8:30 pm EDT
United Center - Chicago, Illinois
Radio - WBNS 97.1 FM - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Second City Hockey

The Blue Jackets have had some good fortune when they line up against Chicago this season. Both times they've come in riding very, very hot streaks. Despite another wave of injuries, they rode the coattails of Sergei Bobrovsky en route a 3-2 shootout win. This time, they've won four straight, seven of eight, and eight of 10, including a run of six in a row on the road. (Spoiler alert: they're playing on the road tonight!)

The Blackhawks are playing well, even without leading scorer Patrick Kane. The boost of Antoine Vermette has helped, and they continue to boast one of the best defenses (and by extension, PK units) in the league. The Jackets have found their scoring touch more of late, with Scott Hartnell leading the charge in March with 11 goals.

Of course, the lineup news is that Jared Boll begins his three-game suspension tonight for his hit to the head of Patrick Maroon the other night. No news as of yet as to who draws in at this moment, but the roster currently boasts several forward scratches for a litany of injuries: Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky, and Rene Bourque. I'm not even going to guess. I'll leave it to Portzline, who remains the owner, driver, and sole passenger on the Jared Boll Bus: "Boll, after struggling earlier in the season, had been a major factor in the Blue Jackets’ surge this month."

Your 2014-2015 Columbus Blue Jackets, everybody!

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets 
(34-35-4, 72 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)

Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Artem Anisimov Jeremy Morin
Scott Hartnell William Karlsson Marko Dano
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kevin Connauton Cody Goloubef
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Chicago Blackhawks
(44-23-6, 94 Points; 3rd Division, 4th Conference)

Brandon Saad Jonathan Toews Andrew Shaw
Patrick Sharp Antoine Vermette Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell Brad Richards Kris Versteeg
Joakim Nordstrom Marcus Kruger Teuvo Teravainen
Kimmo Timonen Brent Seabrook
Duncan Keith Michal Rozsival
Johnny Oduya Niklas Hjalmarsson
Corey Crawford
Scott Darling

Season Series

12/20/14 - Chicago 2 at Columbus 3 (SO)
03/27/15 - Columbus at Chicago

Head to Head Stats

Chicago Columbus
2.71 (17) GPG 2.62 (19)
2.25 (3) GAPG 3.10 (25)
18.3% (16) PP% 22.0% (5)
85.1% (5) PK% 79.0% (25)
Patrick Kane, 27 G leader Nick Foligno, 26
Patrick Kane / Jonathan Toews, 37 A leader Ryan Johansen, 39
Patrick Kane, 64 Pts leader Nick Foligno, 64
Andrew Shaw, 61 PIM leader Jared Boll, 109
22-9-5 Home/Road 20-15-2
7-2-1 Last 10 8-2-0
3/25 @ Philadelphia, L 4-1 Last Game 3/24 vs. Anaheim, W 5-3