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Sunday Gameday: Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils

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Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Neutral Zone Trap

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

This is a big one. After all the results last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets can clinch a playoff berth with a win today in New Jersey. This would be just the third time in franchise history, and a better result than most expected before the season - both among national writers and many Columbus fans. Regardless what happens from here, let’s take a moment to appreciate what has been accomplished so far.

Now that we’re appreciating that, let’s dream about what may happen: the Blue Jackets are just 2 points behind the Washington Capitals with a game in hand. It’s still very possible for the Jackets to win not only their first division title, but also the President’s Trophy for best record in the entire National Hockey League.

In case you missed it, Columbus prevailed yesterday in Brooklyn thanks to another OT winner from Cam Atkinson. John Tortorella unveiled some new-look forward lines and one would assume he’ll stick with them. The Saad-Gagner-Atkinson line led in EV minutes and in EV Corgi. There’s a lot of skill on that line, and it will be hard for teams to match up against that one AND the already solid Foligno-Wennberg-BJORKSTRAND. The new Jenner-Dubinsky-Anderson line brings 3 heavy hitters who are all capable of putting the puck in the net. Anderson in particular is riding a very hot streak, with a goal and assist vs. Florida on Thursday and another goal yesterday.

Both teams played their backup goalies in their previous game, so look for a Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Cory Schneider showdown today.

Here’s what you need to know

Sunday March 19, 2017 - 1:00 EST
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: All About the Jersey

Columbus Blue Jackets, 46-18-6, 98 points, 2nd Metro, 2nd East

at

New Jersey Devils, 26-32-12, 64 points, 8th Metro, 16th East

Season Series

02/04/2017 NJD 5 @ CBJ 1
03/05/2017 CBJ 3 @ NJD 0
03/07/2017 NJD 0 @ CBJ 2
03/19/2017 CBJ @ NJD

Stats

New Jersey Columbus
2.29 (28) GPG 3.17 (4)
2.90 (23) GAPG 2.31(2)
18.2% (19) PP% 21.6% (7)
80.6% (16) PK% 83.1% (10)
47.24% (28) EV Corsi % 50.41% (13)
99.0 (24) EV PDO 101.8 (4)
Kyle Palmieri, 25 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 33
Taylor Hall, 30 A Leader Alexander Wennberg, 42
Kyle Palmieri, 48 P Leader Cam Atkinson, 60
Miles Wood, 53 PIM Leader Brandon Dubinsky, 81
14-13-6 Home / Road 20-9-5
1-7-2 Last 10 7-2-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Saad Sam Gagner Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg BJORKSTRAND
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Josh Anderson
Scott Hartnell William Karlsson Matt Calvert
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kyle Quincey Markus Nutivaara/Scott Harrington
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
New Jersey Devils
Taylor Hall Travis Zajac Kyle Palmieri
Adam Henrique Joseph Blandisi Beau Bennett
John Quenneville Pavel Zacha Stefan Noesen
Miles Wood Blake Pietila Nick Lappin
Andrew Greene Ben Lovejoy
Jon Merrill Dalton Prout
John Moore Damon Severson
Cory Schneider
Keith Kinkaid