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Preview: Worth Price of Admission, Jackets go For Seventh Straight

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Nearly two weeks ago the Columbus Blue Jackets paid a visit to Montreal. A stretch of five-straight wins since that day, and six total, pits the surging Jackets against the slumping Canadiens tonight.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets bring their season-long, six-straight win streak to Bell Centre to face the Montreal Canadiens.

While things have gone well for Columbus since their last game in Montreal 13 days ago, Claude Julien's bunch is just 1-3-2 over that span. That win came in their last game Saturday night against the Sabres. It was the man in goal that at least provided a glimmer of hope.

Canadien Hope

Out 10 games due to injury, Carey Price rebounded to form with a 36-save shutout in the win over Buffalo. As familiar as Columbus is with him (Price: 6-3-1, 2.18 goals-against average, .923 save percentage versus Columbus), they got a Price-type effort out of backup percentage), they got a Price-type effort out of backup Charlie Lindgren, as the Jackets took the showdown in overtime 2-1.

Columbus comes into tonight's game off a rare offensive outburst, a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Nick Foligno ended a 13-game goal drought and Cam Atkinson netted a pair to end an eight-game goalless streak.

Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk also snapped an 11-game goalless drought during Saturday’s win. Tonight will likely mark the return of Canadiens’ defenseman David Schlemko. He has not played this season due to a hand injury. Defenseman Shea Weber has missed his last three games due to a lower-body injury.

Bob is Best

Sergei Bobrovsky has started seven-straight games and has vaulted to the top of the league statistically. He has allowed just six goals during the win streak, and currently leads the league in goals-against average (1.91), save percentage (.936), is second in wins, and tied for the league lead in shutouts.

With the impending back-to-back on tap this week, as the Hurricanes skate into Nationwide Arena Tuesday, it would appear Joonas Korpisalo would get back in the crease, possibly even tonight.

His last NHL action took place Nov. 7 against the Predators. For the second-consecutive weekend, he was sent to Cleveland to get playing time.

Against the Atlantic Division, the Jackets are 8-1-1 this season. In their last 21 overall against the Atlantic, Columbus is 15-4-2. One of the Jackets’ trends this season has been outshooting opponents, and in 15 games, they have done just that. The Canadiens have a -13 goal differential, despite being fourth in the league in shot-attempts percentage, right behind Columbus.

Columbus is 12-9-3 all-time versus Montreal and 7-5-2 at Bell Centre. A seventh-straight victory for the Jackets would be the longest in the NHL this season.

Faceoff
Blue Jackets - Canadiens Game Notes

Practice Combos

The return of Alexander Wennberg appears close. He skated and participated in drills, and will make the trip to Montreal.

Montreal Canadiens
Alex Galchenyuk Jonathan Drouin Paul Byron
Max Pacioretty Phillip Danault Andrew Shaw
Charles Hudon Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Nicholas Deslauriers Jacob De La Rose Byron Froese
Karl Alzner Jeff Petry
Joe Morrow Jordie Benn
David Schlemko Jakub Jerabek
Carey Price
Antti Niemi
Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Pierre-Luc Dubois Josh Anderson
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Oliver Bjorkstrand
Sonny Milano Nick Foligno Cam Atkinson
Tyler Motte Lukas Sedlak Jordan Schroeder
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo