Thursday, November 28, 2018 - 7:00 PM EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Hockey Wilderness
Minnesota Wild, 14-8-2, 30 points, 3rd Central, t-3rd West
Columbus Blue Jackets, 14-8-2, 30 points, 2nd Metro, t-5th East
Fresh off a quick two-game road trip that culminated in a 7-5 win over the Red Wings Monday night in Detroit, the Columbus Blue Jackets return home to face the Minnesota Wild Thursday night from Nationwide Arena. Ahead of Thursday’s matchup, both teams skate into Columbus with identical records, each trying to stay within striking distance in their respective conferences. The Wild come in off a loss to the Coyotes, 4-3, Tuesday, after seeing a 3-1 lead entering the third period erased.
Player to Watch
He’s 34-years-old already, but Eric Staal (nine goals, eight assists) continues to light the lamp with regularity for the Wild this season. A decorated career spanning 15 seasons and counting, Staal cracked the 40-goal plateau for the third time in his career last season when he scored 42. Staal just missed out on his career-high 45 goals back in 2005-06, the season his Hurricanes captured the Stanley Cup. Since coming over to Minnesota in time for the 2016-17 season two years ago, Staal had played every game in that span, before missing his first game against the Sharks a few weeks ago due to an illness. His three game-winning goals this season is tied for second on the team.
Cam Atkinson’s career-best, and franchise-tying, seven-game goal-streak came to an end Monday at Detroit. ... Atkinson comes into tonight’s action on an eight-game point streak — one shy of his career high set in 2016-17 — following his first period assist Monday. ... The latest victory was John Tortorella’s 589th in the NHL, making him No. 1 among active U.S. born coaches, passing Peter Laviolette. ... Tonight’s game marks Tortorella’s 1,200th behind an NHL bench, which will make him the 18th coach in league history, and the fifth active coach, to reach that milestone. ... Anthony Duclair missed practice Wednesday, the official word from the team is he is “dinged up” and considered day-to-day. ... Expect Oliver Bjorkstrand, a healthy scratch the past four games, to take Duclair's spot in the lineup. ... Seth Jones and Zach Werenski were reunited on the top defensive pair for the first time in 10 games against the Red Wings, and both practiced together Wednesday. ... In 11 career starts versus the Wild, Sergei Bobrovsky is 8-2-1 (1.78 GAA, .938 SV%). ... Joonas Korpisalo has never faced Minnesota.
John Tortorella told @971CandR today that Oliver Bjorkstrand will go back in the lineup tomorrow night against Minnesota.— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) November 28, 2018
"This guy...he's a goal scorer. I do have the obligation to try and get him into a situation where he's going to help this team." #CBJ
The Other Bench
It’s been another solid start to the regular season for the Wild in a crowded Central division, arguably the most balanced division in the NHL. Currently sitting in third place behind the Avalanche, the Wild are just five points from first, but only two ahead of the Jets, a preseason favorite by many before the season.
It’s another brotherly-love matchup for the Foligno brothers. While the elder 31-year-old Nick Foligno (six goals, nine assists) began his NHL career with the Senators in 2007-08, his younger brother, 27-year-old Marcus (one goal, three assists) broke into the league with the Sabres in 2011-12. Of course, both are the son of former NHLer, Mike Foligno (355 goals, 382 assists, 2,047 penalty minutes in 1,018 career games).
Said Nick about facing his younger brother, Marcus:
“Nah. He’s way bigger than I am. I don’t know how I’d do against him anymore. I used to pound the (****) out of him. I think he’s going to get retribution now.
”I really don’t want to see 18,000 people see me get beat up by my brother. I’ve got some spots I know he’s weak, so I could probably get a few in.
”It would be awesome to play with him one day. As I’m getting older, and hopefully not seeing the finish line soon, but it would be a really neat thing to play with your brother in the NHL. I start to get that thought in my head a little bit more than I should.” — Quotes via Blue Jackets.com.
After blowing a 3-1 lead entering the final period of play against Arizona Tuesday, the Blue Jackets have to be ready for an angry Wild team.
"We're pretty pissed off after that game. That shouldn't happen. So we're pretty excited for tomorrow — it's a new game, a new day. So we're going to come out hard from the start." — Jonas Brodin— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) November 29, 2018
More from Boudreau, Zucker & Seeler pic.twitter.com/lylatsUsUY
Boudreau: "It was spirited. We had a good conversation before we went onto the ice. This has been a painful lesson for us. But hopefully they've learned it."— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) November 28, 2018
Defenseman Matt Dumba leads all NHL defenseman in goals (10). Defenseman Greg Pateryn did not play against the Coyotes due to illness and is not expected to play Thursday. Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday he is “pretty sure” Devan Dubnyk makes the start in goal.
11/29/18 MIN @ CBJ
1/19/19 CBJ @ MIN
|3.25 (11)||GPG||3.50 (5)|
|2.75 (t-6)||GAPG||3.21 (21)|
|22.2% (12)||PP%||16.3% (23)|
|85.4% (3)||PK%||78.4% (19)|
|50.12% (17)||EV Corsi %||48.87% (21)|
|100.2 (t-15)||EV PDO||101.1 (t-9)|
|Zach Parise, 11||G Leader||Cam Atkinson, 15|
|Mikko Koivu, Ryan Suter 16||A Leader||Artemi Panarin, 20|
|Mikael Granlund, 23||P Leader||Artemi Panarin, 26|
|Marcus Foligno, 23||PIM Leader||Pierre-Luc Dubois, 32|
|6-5-0||Home / Road||6-4-1|
|Artemi Panarin||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Cam Atkinson|
|Nick Foligno||Boone Jenner||Josh Anderson|
|Brandon Dubinsky||Alexander Wennberg||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Lukas Sedlack||Riley Nash||Markus Hannikainen|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Ryan Murray||Markus Nutivaara|
|David Savard||Scott Harrington|
|Jason Zucker||Eric Staal||Mikael Granlund|
|Zach Parise||Mikko Koivu||Nino Niederreiter|
|Jordan Greenway||Joel Eriksson EK||Charlie Coyle|
|Marcus Foligno||Eric Fehr||J.T. Brown|
|Ryan Suter||Jared Spurgeon|
|Jonas Brodin||Mathew Dumba|
|Nick Seeler||Nate Prosser|