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Game Preview #15: Welcome Back, Old Friend

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Or, not really. Columbus welcomes Rick Nash and the New York Rangers to town for a Friday evening showdown.

NHL: New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Friday, November 18, 2016 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Game Faceoff

Welcome back Rick Nash, I hope your team loses horribly tonight.

The Blue Jackets welcome their former captain back to Nationwide Arena for the first of 5 games against the New York Rangers this season. The Rangers are having an excellent start to their season, opening up a 13-4-0 start, good for second in the Eastern Conference. Tonight will be a real test for Columbus, an excellent tentpole to see where the team is and how far we still have to go.

Both teams are near the top of every statistical category in the league, scoring goals in bunches and stopping them at nearly similar rates. Frankly, who knows what to expect. We could see anything from a 1-0 defensive slugfest to a 5-4 shootout and I would not be surprised.

The only thing I expect to see, however, is Nash booed when he touches the puck. Still not over his exit from the club.

In team news, Dalton Prout is not expected to play after his back locked up the other night. Scott Harrington took all of the reps in practice. Brandon Dubinsky will play, despite breaking his nose on a Jack Johnson clearing attempt. But that should be no surprise, given that he didn’t even miss a shift in that game, and was instrumental in the winning goal.

Let’s go Jackets.

Probable Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Scott Hartnell Lukas Sedlak Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski David Savard
Ryan Murray Jack Johnson
Markus Nutivaara Scott Harrington
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

New York Rangers

Michael Grabner Derek Stepan Rick Nash
J.T. Miller Mika Zibanejad Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey Kevin Hayes Jesper Fast
Oscar Lindberg Boo Nieves Brandon Pirri
Ryan McDonagh Dan Girardi
Marc Staal Nick holden
Brady Skjei Kevin Klein
Henrik Lundqvist
Antti Raanta