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Game Preview: Columbus at Arizona

As we travel to the desert, let’s hope our goal scoring doesn’t dry up

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 8:00 PM EST
Gila River Arena, Glendale, AZ
TV: Fox Sports Ohio and NHL.TV’s Free Game of the Week; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Five for Howling

Your above-average Columbus Blue Jackets, 13-5-4, 30 points, 3rd Metro, 4th East

vs.

Arizona Coyotes, 8-11-3, 19 points, 7th Pacific, 14th West

Keys to the Game:

  • Arizona is...not good this season. Columbus is...maybe actually good?? After facing the toughest schedule in the league over the first two months, the Jackets face an easier stretch. That includes tonight’s game. Beating Colorado proved tricky but hopefully they have an easier time tonight.
  • Secondary scoring: can we end some droughts tonight? I’d like to see Lukas Sedlak get that elusive first NHL goal. Wouldn’t mind seeing Boone Jenner gain some momentum after that game winning goal on Thursday. And how about the blue line? Werenski and Jones account for 80% of the Columbus defenseman goals this season. How about Johnson or Murray getting their first?
  • Roster news: Matty Hustle is back! Matt Calvert has been activated off the IR after missing the last 5 games with an upper body injury. Hopefully he’s good to go tonight.

STATS

Arizona Columbus
2.36 (22) GPG 3.18 (2)
3.14 (28) GAPG 2.23 (5)
13.6% (27) PP% 25.9% (1)
80.6% (22) PK% 82.8% (17)
45.10% (30) EV CF% 50.03% (14)
99.6 (17) EV PDO 101.9 (5)
Radim Vrbata, 7 G Leader Nick Foligno, 9
Max Domi, 11 A Leader Alexander Wennberg, 15
Radim Vrbata, 16 P Leader Cam Atkinson, 21
Ryan White, 37 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 29
5-5-0 Home / Road 5-2-3
3-4-3 Last 10 7-1-2

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Matt Calvert Lukas Sedlak Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney
Max Domi Martin Hanzal Radim Vrbata
Tobias Reider Jordan Martinook Methuseleh...I mean Shane Doan
Anthony Duclair Christian Dvorak Jamie McGinn
Lawson Crouse Laurent Dauphin Ryan White
Oliver Ekman-Larsson Columbus native Connor Murphy
Alex Goligoski Michael Stone
Jakob Chychrun Luke Schenn
Mike Smith
Louis Domingue