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Game Preview: Let’s Keep the Shutout Streak Going

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The Blue Jackets host the Buffalo Sabres for the first meeting between the two teams this season.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Friday, March 10, 2017 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Game Faceoff

The Columbus Blue Jackets tonight welcome the Buffalo Sabres to Nationwide Arena in what is the first matchup between the two teams this season. Somehow.

The Blue Jackets have a chance to make some noise in the standings tonight. With the Washington Capitals’ loss last night, the hometown Jackets have a chance to draw within 3 points of the league leaders. John Tortorella has been adamant that the team is going to chase the President’s Trophy, and tonight would be a big step in the right direction.

Sergei Bobrovsky also has a chance to make some history tonight. He has an opportunity to post 4 consecutive shutouts for the first time in franchise history. If he does not give up a goal in the first 5 minutes, he will own the longest shutout streak in the NHL this season (a mark currently held by Devan Dubnyk). Ryan Murray did miss practice yesterday, and Torts offered no update on his status. It is currently unknown if he will play tonight.

On the other side, Buffalo enters on a slide. The Sabres are 1-5-2 in their last 8 games, and have struggled to keep the puck out of their own net. Jack Eichel, the former second overall pick, has been a bright spot of late though. He comes to Columbus currently riding an 11 game point streak.

So, here we are. This is a team Columbus should, on paper, beat. The Buffalo blue line is bad, and their goaltending has been a struggle. If the Jackets come out aggressive, they should win tonight. With a win tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets would tie franchise records for wins a single season (with 43) and for home wins in a season (with 25). Now, just go do the thing.

Probable Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg Brandon Saad
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell Sam Gagner Oliver Bjorkstrand
Lauri Korpikoski William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Markus Nutivaara Kyle Quincey
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo

Buffalo Sabres

Evander Kane Ryan O'Reilly Justin Bailey
Matt Moulson Jack Eichel Sam Reinhart
Marcus Foligno Zemgus Girgensons Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers Evan Rodrigues Tyler Ennis
Jake McCabe Rasmus Ristolainen
Justin Falk Zach Bogosian
Josh Gorges Cody Fransen
Robin Lehner
Anders Nilsson