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Game Preview: Snowbirds

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A trip to Florida, like all Ohioans are obligated to make when it gets cold

Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Tonight at 7:30 (not 7, take note) is the start of a three game road trip for the Columbus Blue Jackets. First up is the Florida Panthers. Like their cross-state rivals in Tampa Bay, the Panthers are led by a lethal top line featuring Evgenii Dadonov, Aleksander Barkov, and Jonthan Huberdeau. That trio has accounted for 15 of Florida’s 40 goals. They were on the ice for 4 goals in Monday’s 8-5 loss to the Lightning.

Good news for Columbus: For as many goals as they’ve scored, the Panthers have not excelled at STOPPING goals. With one of the league’s worst penalty kills, this opponent may be the cure for what ails the woeful CBJ power play.

Cam Atkinson remains day-to-day as he recovers from a hip injury. Tyler Motte excelled in his debut on Monday and will take Cam’s spot on the second line. It appears Sonny Milano and Zac Dalpe will return to the lineup after being healthy scratches on Monday.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Nick Foligno Josh Anderson
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Tyler Motte
Matt Calvert Alexander Wennberg Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Sonny Milano Zac Dalpe Pierre-Luc Dubois
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Florida Panthers
Evgenii Dadonov Aleksander Barkov Jonathan Huberdeau
Jamie McGinn Vincent Trocheck Radim Vrbata
Derek MacKenzie Nick Bjugstad Owen Tippett
Chase Balisy Denis Malgin Micheal Haley
Keith Yandle Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson MacKenzie Weegar
Ian McCoshen Mark Pysyk
James Reimer
Antti Niemi