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Game Preview: Going to Chicago

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Sorry that I can’t take you

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 8:30 (oof, a late one), Columbus begins a streak of 3 games versus the top 4 of the NHL standings. All 4 teams (including the Blue Jackets) are battling for the President’s Trophy and the top seed in their respective conferences.

The last time these two teams met, it was just the third game of the season for the Blue Jackets. They had dropped their first two at home before getting a 5 day break. Before setting off on a West Coast road trip, they hosted the Blackhawks and game away with a 3-2 victory. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a huge boost of confidence. I remember we all gave a sigh of relief, knowing that another 8 game losing streak to open the season was not in the cards.

The Blackhawks are coming into postseason form, with a 5-1 thumping of the Penguins at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Among their stats, however, their special teams numbers are surprisingly poor.

For Columbus, last night saw a return to the 4 forward lines used during the Streak. Markus Nutivaara returned to the lineup in place of Scott Harrington. Joonas Korpisalo played last night, so Sergei Bobrovsky will return to the pipes tonight to continue his push for the Vezina Trophy - and perhaps the Hart as well?

One obstacle: the team had to spend last night in Raleigh due to issues with the plane. Hopefully it doesn’t throw them off too much to travel this morning.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg Brandon Saad
Matt Calvert Lars Karlsson Josh Anderson
Scott Hartnell Lukas Sedlak Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kyle Quincey Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Chicago Blackhawks
Marian Hossa Marcus Kruger Ryan Hartman
Patrick Kane Tanner Kero Artemi Panarin
Richard Panik Jonathan Toews Nick Schmaltz
Tomas Jurco Dennis Rasmussen John Hayden
Niklas Hjalmarsson Duncan Keith
Johnny Oduya Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Corey Crawford
Scott Darling