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Preview: Columbus Hits the Road to Dallas

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The Blue Jackets look to follow up their first win of the season with a winning start to their first road trip

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Dallas Stars

Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 8:00 PM ET

TV: FSO; Radio: 97.1 FM

Columbus: Hey, we won one!

That’s a relief, isn’t it? I was very happy to see the high effort of the first two games continue in this one and finally pay off with a W. There is still plenty of room for improvement, though. The aggressive offense of the first period and a half really trickled off late in the second and through the early third. On the plus side, the PK unit was very sharp and everyone came through in the final three minutes to keep Chicago from tying it up with a man advantage.

In big roster news, my boy BJORKSTRAND got sent down to Cleveland. I’d say this is deserved, as he has not played very well so far. He still has things to work on with the Monsters. On the flip side, we all felt that Sonny Milano played well enough in preseason to earn a spot on the roster, and he has now been recalled. Expect him to play, though it remains to be seen on which line.

Probable Lines:

Brandon Saad - Alexander Wennberg - Nick Foligno

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Scott Hartnell - William Karlsson - Josh Anderson

Boone Jenner - Lukas Sedlak - Sonny Milano

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones

Jack Johnson - David Savard

Markus Nutivaara - Dalton Prout/Scott Harrington

Curtis McElhinney

Sergei Bobrovsky

NOTES: That top line was great last night...Calvert continues to be the hardest working player on the team...Will Sam Gagner return to the lineup tonight? If so, who sits?...Rookie Lukas Sedlak had 3 SOG and a -1 rating in 8:45 in his NHL debut...Ryan Murray will not make the trip to Dallas after suffering an “upper body injury.” I personally would prefer Scott Harrington to get his first start of the season rather than Prout...I also assume at the time of writing this that McElhinney would get his first start. No need to force Bob to play both ends of a back-to-back, especially after taking so much fire last night.

Dallas: Don’t Mess With Texas

In 2016, Dallas finished with the best record in the Western Conference (109 points). This season has been up and down so far. They have alternated wins and losses: 4-2 over Anaheim, 5-6 at Colorado, 2-1 at Nashville, then a 3-4 OT loss at home against Los Angeles on Thursday.

Probable Lines:

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Jason Spezza

Brett Ritchie - Devin Shore - Ales Hemsky

Lauri Korpikoski - Adam Cracknell - Curtis McKenzie

Dan Hamhuis - John Klingberg

Johnny Oduya - Stephen Johns

Esa Lindell - Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

NOTES: Tyer Seguin had to withdraw from the World Cup of Hockey with an injury, but he appears to be completely recovered, leading his team with 5 points (2G, 3A) in 4 games...Patrick Sharp is out with a concussion, but Ales Hemsky will be returning from a groin injury...Niemi was pulled in the second game and Lehtonen has played all minutes since...Remember Adam Cracknell? Barely, right? Well, he has scored 2 goals and 1 assist so far this season as center of their fourth line.

Any predictions for tonight? How will our young team handle their first back-to-back AND their first road game of the season? Can this group finally put together a consistent 60 minutes of play?