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Game #17 Preview: Blue Jackets will try to slow Avalanche’s roll

The Columbus Blue Jackets meet the Colorado Avalanche in the Mile High City Saturday night from Denver.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 9:00 EST
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Mile High Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets (6-7-3, 15 points, 7th Metro, 13th East)

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Colorado Avalanche (9-5-2, 20 points, 3rd Central, 7th West)

The Blue Jackets skate into Denver to face the Avalanche Saturday night. Columbus comes in off of a 3-2 win Thursday night in Arizona over the Coyotes, snapping a five-game skid, while the Avalanche stopped their mini three-game slide in a 9-4 rout of the Predators. Colorado scored six second period goals in eight minutes, so there’s the lethal kind of scoring Joonas Korpisalo and the Blue Jackets must contend with.

Player to Watch

Nathan MacKinnon is the latest of superstar talents and Hart Trophy candidates on the NHL circuit. Just 24 years old, or only 24 years old, MacKinnon leads his Avalanche with 22 points, nine goals, and is tied for first with 13 assists. Last year, he eclipsed 40 goals for the first time and is among the reasons why the Avalanche are contenders in the Western Conference. In Thursday’s romp over the Avalanche he was 1-3-4 with 10 shots on net through two periods, but did not play in the third period due to what is described as an upper-body injury. On the season, MacKinnon leads the club with 82 shots, nearly 50 more than the next player.

Jackets Notes

Alexandre Texier returned to the lineup Thursday after missing the last four games with a knee injury, but then took a puck to the face late in the third, blood clearly visible. ... Markus Nutivaara missed the game with an upper-body injury and did not travel. ... Ryan Murray (broken hand) did make the trip. ... Zach Werenski took a puck deflection to the throat but stayed in the game on Thursday. ... Seth Jones took a shot in front of the net off the thigh but also stayed in the game. ... There was no Friday practice. ... It was announced Friday the Blue Jackets will play the Avalanche in the Global Series from Helsinki, Finland next season. ... Riley Nash’s next assist will give him 100 for his career. ... Boone Jenner is two assists from 100. ... Zach Werenski’s 41 goals is tied with Rostislav Klesla for most among defenseman in franchise history. ... Seth Jones and David Savard are one goal away from joining them. ... If the Blue Jackets score first, chances are good they win as they are 6-0-0, while they are 0-7-3 when the opposition scores first. ... In recent history, the Jackets are 7-2-1 over the last 10 against the Avalanche and have won the last three meetings. ... Over both games last season, Alexander Wennberg was 1-3-4 against the Avalanche, Pierre-Luc Dubois had three goals, and Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno scored twice in an 11-5 combined score among both wins.

The Other Bench

Colorado came into the season with high expectations, and look like a team with serious Stanley Cup aspirations. ... Overall, the Avalanche are where you expect them in the standings, but they are forced to get along without a few regulars including goalie Philipp Grubauer (lower body), forwards Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), Mikko Rantanen (lower body), and defenseman Nikita Zadorov (upper body), and now could be without MacKinnon. ... In his first season with the Avalanche after spending the prior four with the Sharks, Joonas Donskoi is second on the club with eight goals. ... The Avalanche have 13 power play goals this season made up between four players: MacKinnon with five, Rantanen and Donskoi with three, Nazem Kadri has two. ... Pavel Francouz this season: 3-2-0, 2.98, .906. ... Adam Werner, serving as the backup, has not played in an NHL game. Colorado has allowed three short-handed goals this season (T-24th), while Columbus has allowed four (T-28th).

Season Series

11/09/2019 CBJ @ COL
02/08/2019 COL @ CBJ

Stats

Colorado Columbus
3.63 (3) GPG 2.38 (30)
2.94 (14) GAPG 3.38 (24)
18.8% (17) PP% 13.5% (25)
83.3% (13) PK% 77.5% (23)
50.57% (14) 5v5 Corsi % 49.84% (19)
49.64% (18) 5v5 Fenwick % 51.59% (9)
9.3 (5) 5v5 Shot % 5.7 (29)
.927 (16) 5v5 Save % .907 (27)
Nathan MacKinnon, 9 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois,
6
Nathan MacKinnon, Cole Makar, 13 A Leader Gustav Nyquist, Seth Jones, 7
Nathan MacKinnon, 22 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 11
Nikita Zadorov, 37 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 15
5-2-1 Home / Road 3-2-2
4-5-1 Last 10 3-4-3

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gustav Nyquist Pierre-Luc Dubois Oliver Bjorkstand
Nick Foligno Boone
Jenner
Josh Anderson
Sonny Milano Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Emil Bemstrom Riley
Nash
Alexandre Texier
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Scott Harrington Dean Kukan
Joonas Korpisalo
Matiss Kivlenieks

Colorado Avalanche

Matt Calvert Nathan MacKinnon Joonas Donskoi
Tyson
Jost
Nazem
Kadri

JT
Compher

Matthew Nieto Pierre-Édouard Bellemare Valeri Nichushkin
T.J. Tynan Vladislav Kamenev Andre Burakovsky
Samuel Girard Erik Johnson
Ian Cole Cale Makar
Ryan Graves Nikita Zadorov
Pavel Francouz
Adam Werner