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Game Preview #46 - Sign Of The Times

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The Jackets are back in action, and one Jacket in particular returns to the bench--but not the ice--after a prolonged absence while another heads back to the shelf.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jackets vs. Avalanche - 7:00 PM
Game Faceoff

Sometimes the Blue Jackets can't win for losing. And maybe, if they are truly in full-on Auston Matthews Quest Mode, that's not a bad thing. Sergei Bobrovsky is back from the IR list, though he won't start tonight. Anton Forsberg returns to the AHL to make room.

That said, despite getting Bob back, the Jackets will again be without David Savard for an extended period of time, after he left Wednesday's game with another injury (upper body) that will have him on the shelf for awhile. The more things change...

Markus Hannikainen is also back from IR (remember him?) and will get some run on the fourth line in place of Rene Bourque.

Colorado is an interesting study. They don't have good possession numbers--like, at all--but yet here they are in the playoff picture in the West despite some injuries and inconsistency. At the end of November, they sat at 9-14-1. Since then? 13-6-2, including four of their last six.

We won't be seeing Andrew Bodnarchuk tonight for his triumphant return, as he's been relegated to bench duty after being picked up on waivers by the Avs from Columbus.

From the looks of things, the Jackets will mix things up in the forward lines (shocked, I tell ya). I expect (hope?) that they've gotten some rest and won't get completely bludgeoned in Corsi tonight like they did against Toronto, and hopefully Joonas Korpisalo can pick up where he left off. For the Avs, young goaltender Calvin Pikard gets his third start of the season and second in a row after shutting out New Jersey the other night.

This team was the team against which Columbus finally broke their streak. Maybe lightning can strike twice?

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(16-25-4, 36 Points; 8th division, 16th conference)

Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell Brandon Dubinsky Boone Jenner
Kerby Rychel William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Markus Hannikainen Gregory Campbell Jared Boll
Ryan Murray Seth Jones
Jack Johnson Cody Goloubef
Justin Falk Dalton Prout
Joonas Korpisalo
Sergei Bobrovsky

Colorado Avalanche
(22-20-3, 47 Points; 5th Division, 7th Conference)

Alex Tanguay Nathan MacKinnon Matt Duchene
Gabriel Landeskog Carl Soderberg Blake Comeau
Andreas Martinsen Chris Wagner Jarome Iginla
Cody McLeod John Mitchell Jack Skille
Francois Beauchemin Nikita Zadorov
Nick Holden Tyson Barrie
Zach Redmond Chris Bigras
Calvin Pickard
Semyon Varlamov