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Game #12 Preview: Blue Jackets need to rebound, douse Oilers at home

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It’s my birthday and so I really think the Jackets should find a way to win. And score a couple power play goals.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Edmonton Oilers

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 7:30 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Copper and Blue

Edmonton Oilers (8-4-1, 17 points, 1st Pacific, 1st West)

at

Columbus Blue Jackets (5-4-2, 12 points, 5th Metro, 11th East)

The Blue Jackets come into Wednesday’s game off a tough loss to the Flyers Saturday night, 7-4, after allowing five third periods goals and squandering a 4-2 lead.

Maybe the most surprising team in the NHL so far, the Oilers got off to a 7-1-0 start but have dropped four of their last five and lost their last game to the Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night. Mixed with Columbus’ off days, and Edmonton coming in on the second of a back-to-back, and their first this season, tonight is a prime opportunity for the Jackets to claim two points.

Player to Watch

Looking to get going offensively, Cam Atkinson might be licking his chops tonight. In 16 career games, Atkinson has 10 points (7-3) against Edmonton. I made a wager with Seeds that Cam will score 30 goals this season, so why not start that scoring tonight?

Jackets Notes

On Monday, we learned the Jackets will be minus two regulars as Ryan Murray will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken hand suffered in Philadelphia on Saturday while blocking a shot. ... Alexandre Texier will miss 2-4 weeks with a right knee injury, as he was also hurt against the Flyers. ... The good news is Markus Nutivaara was back at practice as he missed the last two games with a lower-body injury and should return tonight. ... He’s lost it a few times now, but Oliver Bjorkstrand comes in needing just one more point for 100 in his career. ... David Savard, Seth Jones, and Zach Werenski are each one goal away from tying Rostislav Klesla for most among franchise defenseman (41). ... The Jackets dropped both games to the Oilers last year, and have lost two straight at home against Edmonton after winning the prior five. ... Tonight starts a stretch of six consecutive games against the Western Conference, and the Jackets are 1-1-1 so far with a win over the Stars, and losses to the Ducks and Blackhawks. Joonas Korpisalo’s next game (whether tonight or whenever) will be his 100th career start.

The Other Bench

You probably would not have though the Oilers would be in first place in the Western Conference by the end of October, but here we are. How have they done it? ... Dave Tippet in his first year as head coach. ... James Neal, acquired over the summer from the Flames for Milan Lucic, has 10 goals, including seven over a three game stretch, four games into the season, and a four-goal game at the Islanders. ... Oscar Klembom leads the defense in points (1-8-9). ... Usual suspects, including point leader Leon Draisaitl (22—10-12) and assists leader Connor McDavid (22—6-16) are also off to nice starts. ... Both combined for 11 points in two games versus Columbus last year. ... The Oilers have the same 8-4-1 start to the season as a year ago, before losing six of their next seven.

Another off-season acquisition from Calgary, goaltender Mike Smith (3-3-1) signed a one-year deal over the summer and currently has a 2.49 GAA, .914 SV%. ... Mikko Koskinen is 5-1-0, 2.46, .922 and started last night. ... Edmonton’s schedule to this point only features four playoff teams from a season ago.

Season Series

10/30/2019 EDM @ CBJ
3/07/2020 CBJ @ EDM

Stats

Edmonton Columbus
2.85 (19) GPG 2.73 (21)
2.69 (9) GAPG 3.55 (26)
30.6% (2) PP% 11.4% (25)
85.0% (8) PK% 75.0% (24)
49.04% (21) 5v5 Corsi % 49.94% (16)
49.64% (18) 5v5 Fenwick % 50.86% (13)
6.1 (26) 5v5 Shot % 6.4 (24)
.927 (14) 5v5 Save % .910 (22)
Leon Draisaitl, James Neal, 10 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois,
5
Connor McDavid, 16 A Leader Seth Jones, 6
Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, 22 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, Seth Jones, 7
Ethan Bear, 12 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 11
3-3-1 Home / Road 3-2-1
5-4-1 Last 10 5-3-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Nick Foligno Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Gustav Nyquist Alexander Wennberg Oliver Bjorkstand
Sonny Milano Boone
Jenner
Josh Anderson
Jakob Lilja Riley
Nash
Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov Dean Kukan
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo

Edmonton Oilers

Leon Draisaitl Connor McDavid Zack Kassian
Jujhar Khaira Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Sam Gagner
James Neal Gaetan
Haas
Alex Chiasson
Tomas Jurko Riley
Sheahan
Patrick Russell
Darnell Nurse Ethan Bear
Oscar Klefbom Kris Russell
Brandon Manning Matt Benning
Mike Smith
Mikko Koskinen