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Game Preview: Rub Some Dirt On It

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Time to shake off that loss and take a step forward in the President’s Trophy race

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The title of this recap refers to a couple metaphorical blows. They need to overcome the physical and emotional toll of last night’s loss. They also need to bounce back from the 5-0 shellacking they took the last time they faced these Capitals. That was in Washington back in January, when the Caps ended the Jackets 16 game win streak in emphatic fashion.

Washington is a really, really good team. It was weird assembling the stats for the faceoff and it was the opponent who led all the stats, rather than the Jackets sweeping. Still, they’re just 2 points ahead of us and we have two games remaining in the season series.

The lines will have to be shuffled again due to the injury to BJORKSTRAND. He did not make the trip. There was no morning skate so I don’t know how Torts may shuffle the lines. (He will certainly shuffle the lines) I will assume that yesterday was just maintenance for Scott Hartnell and that he’ll be back in the lineup tonight. The only line I would not change is the Dubinsky line. They were one of the few last night to play with consistent energy, and the only one that could match Toronto’s, um, “physicality.”

The most important matchup will be in goal. Due to Devan Dubnyk’s slump, the Vezina race should be a two man horserace between Sergei Bobrovsky and Braden Holtby. Goals will not come easy for either team tonight.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Josh Anderson
Brandon Saad Sam Gagner Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg Scott Hartnell
Lukas Sedlak William Karlsson Matt Calvert
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kyle Quincey Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Washington Capitals
T.J. Oshie Nicklas Backstrom Alex Ovechkin
Marcus Johansson Evgeny Kuznetsov Justin Williams
Andre Burakovsky Lars Eller Brett Connolly
Tom Wilson Jay Beagle Daniel Winnik
Karl Alzner John Carlson
Brooks Orpik Kevin Shattenkirk
Dmitry Orlov Matt Niskanen
Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer