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Game #16: Jackets travel to the desert seeking to end the scoring drought

Please win.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 9:00 EST
Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Five for Howling

Columbus Blue Jackets (5-7-3, 13 points, 7th Metro, 12th East)

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Arizona Coyotes (9-4-2, 20 points, 3rd Pacific, 5th West)

Tough times here in Jacketland, as the boys in the Union Blue are riding a five game losing streak. Tonight they begin a three game road trip against a finally resurgent Arizona Coyotes, seeking to return to the postseason for the first time since their Western Conference Finals appearance in 2012.

Player to Watch

Phil Kessel

Fat Phil was traded from Pittsburgh in the offseason and now he can golf on off days all season long. He’s not content to just collect a paycheck, however. He has ten points (three goals, seven assists) so far. In his career against Columbus, he has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 27 games. At least we only have to face him twice a year instead of four times a year.

Jackets Notes

Markus Nutivaara is not expected to play tonight after taking a puck to the head on Tuesday against Vegas ... For some good news on the injury front, Alexandre Texier has been activated off of IR. The young Frenchman had provided a spark to the team before going down with a knee injury ... Adam Clendening was recalled from Cleveland, though I would expect him to be insurance only, with Scott Harrington (ugh) taking Nuti’s place instead ... In a surprise move, Elvis Merzlikins was sent to Cleveland, with Matiss Kivlenieks called up. Don’t freak out yet, however, as this appears to be a temporary move to get Elvis some extra game action. He could return to the team before the road trip is over. My prediction? After facing the Laval Rocket in Cleveland this weekend, he follows them up the St. Lawrence basin and rejoins the Jackets in Montreal.

The Other Bench

This Yotes team is the real deal, apparently ... In their most recent game, they fell in overtime at Calgary ... Both goalies have played well, but with Antti Raanta playing on Tuesday, we’re more likely to face the primary goalie Darcy Kuemper. He is 7-3-0 with a 1.69 GAA and .940 SV%. Both are best in the league.

Season Series

11/07/2019 CBJ @ ARI
12/03/2019 ARI @ CBJ

Stats

Arizona Columbus
2.87 (18) GPG 2.33 (30)
2.27 (2) GAPG 3.47 (25)
18.8% (16) PP% 12.5% (27)
80.4% (19) PK% 76.1% (24)
51.89% (9) 5v5 Corsi % 49.62% (19)
51.49% (9) 5v5 Fenwick % 51.47% (10)
6.9 (22) 5v5 Shot % 5.5 (29)
.950 (2) 5v5 Save % .907 (27)
Conor Garland, 7 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 6
Nick Schmaltz, 10 A Leader Seth Jones, 6
Nick Schmaltz, 14 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 10
Lawson Crouse, 11 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 13
4-2-0 Home / Road 2-2-2
7-2-1 Last 10 3-4-3

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gustav Nyquist Pierre-Luc Dubois Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Sonny Milano Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Josh Anderson
Alexandre Texier Riley Nash Kole Sherwood
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Dean Kukan David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov Scott Harrington
Joonas Korpisalo
Matiss Kivlenieks
Arizona Coyotes
Barrett Hayton Christian Dvorak Phil Kessel
Michael Grabner Derek Stepan Vinnie Hinostroza
Clayton Keller Nick Schmaltz Conor Garland
Lawson Crouse Carl Soderberg Christian Fischer
Oliver Ekman-Larsson Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun Alex Goligoski
Aaron Ness Ilya Lyubushkin
Darcy Kuemper
Antti Raanta