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Game #33 Preview: Beat-up Blue Jackets looking for port in a storm against Capitals

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Another Monday against the Caps could cure what ails ‘em

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Monday, December 16, 2019 - 7 p.m. EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: FSOH; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Japers’ Rink

Columbus Blue Jackets (12-14-6, 30 pts, 7th Metro, 13th East)

vs.

Washington Capitals (24-5-5, 53 pts, 1st Metro, 1st East)

Last week, the Columbus Blue Jackets limped into Washington on a four-game losing streak and blew the doors off the Caps, winning 5-2 and looking like the team we all thought they could be. Two embarrassing (for different reasons) overtime losses later, the CBJ hope an infusion of new talent and another Monday date with the conference-leading Capitals could get them back on track.

About that new talent—thanks to a couple of injuries from Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss at Ottawa, the organization called up Kevin Stenlund and Marko Dano from Cleveland with Josh Anderson and Sonny Milano out. Scott Harrington will also draw in for an injured Ryan Murray.

Since losing last Monday against the Blue Jackets (their first game back at home from a West Coast swing), the Caps beat Boston at home, 3-2, before thumping Tampa Bay on the road in a 5-2 Saturday victory. Safe to say they’ll be ready for Columbus tonight.

Player to Watch

Marko Dano

Dano will suit up for the Blue Jackets for the first time since April 11, 2015, a few months before he was traded to Chicago in the Brandon Saad deal. Dano scored 14 points—10 of those coming from assists—in his last 15 games for Columbus that season.

He’s got three goals and nine assists in 25 games for Cleveland this season and leads the team with 61 penalty minutes (!), more than double Justin Scott’s second-place marker of 30. Dano will likely play nine minutes tonight at most, but anything can happen. Gotta find silver linings around here.

Jackets Notes

The CBJ placed Emil Bemstrom on Injured Reserve retroactive to December 7... Apparently Zach Werenski and Kole Sherwood look closer to return, taking part in drills... A note from CBJ PR: “The club is on pace to register the second-most shots in club history as the highest single season shots per game average is 33.7 set in 2017-18”... The Blue Jackets boast a 5-1-0 mark in their past six vs. Washington.

The Other Bench

With Saturday’s win at Tampa Bay, Washington matched the NHL record for fewest games to 15 road wins in a season (18 GP), a mark set by Buffalo in 2006-07 (15-3-0, 30 points). They’ve also won five straight on the road.. Travis Boyd returns for Nic Dowd... Braden Holtby will start tonight, not Ilya Samsonov.

Season Series

12/09/19 – CBJ 5 @ WAS 2
12/16/19 – WAS @ CBJ
12/27/19 – CBJ @ WAS
3/19/20 – WAS @ CBJ

Stats

Washington Columbus
3.59 (2) GPG 2.47 (29)
2.79 (10) GAPG 3.03 (16)
23.5% (5) PP% 17.3% (21)
85.1% (10) PK% 79.1% (20)
50.23% (14) 5v5 Corsi % 50.56% (12)
50.47% (13) 5v5 Fenwick % 52.45% (6)
9.44% (4) 5v5 Shot % 6.49% (30)
.917 (18) 5v5 Save % .919 (14)
Alex Ovechkin, 21 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 10
John Carlson, 33 A Leader Nyquist and Jones, 13
John Carlson, 45 P Leader Dubois and Nyquist, 20
Garnet Hathaway, 47 PIM Leader Pierre-Lud Dubois, 29
15-2-1 Home / Road 8-8-1
8-1-1 Last 10 3-5-2

Probable Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gustav Nyquist Boone Jenner Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eric Robinson Pierre-Luc Dubois Alexandre Texier
Nick Foligno Alexander Wennbergh Cam Atkinson
Marko Dano Riley Nash Kevin Stenlund
Dean Kukan Seth Jones
Scott Harrington David Savard
Andrew Peeke Vladislav Gavrikov
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin Nicklas Backstrom Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana Evgeny Kuznetsov T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin Lars Eller Richard Panik
Brendan Leipsic Travis Boyd Garnet Hathaway
Michal Kempny John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov Nick Jensen
Jonas Siegenthaler Radko Gudas
Braden Holtby
Ilya Samsonov