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Game #36 Preview: Blue Jackets try for season-high win, and points, streak

There’s really no reason not to win this game. Although the Jackets are hurt and the Devils feature prominent names. That’s why they play the games.

NHL: SEP 27 Preseason - Devils at Blue Jackets Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: All About The Jersey

New Jersey Devils (11-18-5, 27 points, 8th Metro, 15th East)


Columbus Blue Jackets (15-14-6, 36 points, 7th Metro, 13th East)

On Saturday night from Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets look to stay hot with a victory on home ice against the Devils. They come into play tonight with three-straight wins in the bag, matching a season high, and also a six-game points streak which they ran off in November. On Thursday they extended the streaks with a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime finish against the Kings.

The Devils were at home last night hosting the Capitals and fell 6-3 in that contest. This is already the 10th back-to-back for the Devils on the season.

Player to Watch

Eric Robinson has been a fun player to watch for Columbus and he looks to be emerging an evolving with more opportunities in the lineup over the past month. Robinson has seven points (four goals, three assists), and four points (one goal, three assists) over the past five games. Always be on the lookout for his speed as he darts around the ice and your TV set. He’s found some nice chemistry on a line with Alexandre Texier and Pierre-Luc Dubois and that’s a trio that makes it fun to watch the Blue Jackets lately.

Jackets Notes

Going through a bit of an injury crisis, the Blue Jackets will now be without Cam Atkinson (lower body), who left Thursday’s game against the Kings. ... David Savard missed the game with an illness. ... On Friday, the Blue Jackets recalled Jakob Lilja and Ryan MacInnis from Cleveland. ... Marko Dano was sent to Cleveland while Ryan Murray was placed on IR (lower body, week-to-week). ... Columbus comes in on a seven-game winning streak against the Devils, and have won 14 of the last 17 meetings. ... The Blue Jackets swept the four games last season, with one via shootout. ... In the last 12 home games, the Jackets are 9-3-0 against New Jersey. ... Tonight would mark Pierre-Luc Dubois’ 200th career game.

The Other Bench

Sometimes ‘winning the offseason’ doesn’t mean much, and the Devils are experiencing that fate now. ... In the middle of a slumping season, New Jersey traded former MVP winger Taylor Hall and the lesser-known Blake Speers to the Coyotes on Monday for a 2020 conditional first-round draft pick, a conditional 2021 third-round draft pick, and forward prospects Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley, along with defenseman Kevin Bahl. ... Because Hall is now a member of the Coyotes, the Jackets won’t face him at all this season, unless the two teams meet in the Stanley Cup Final. ... Offseason trade acquisition P.K. Subban leads the club with 40 minutes in the penalty box, but he only ha six points (two goals, four assists) and is a -12. ... Free agent acquisition, Wayne Simmonds, only has 12 points (four goals, eight assists). ... The first overall pick, Jack Hughes, has 13 points (four goals, nine assists), the 2017 first overall pick, Nico Hischier, has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists), and a guy I liked for the Blue Jackets over the offseason but was eventually traded from the Golden Nights to Jersey, Nikita Gusev, has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) and is co-leading the team with his 12 helpers. ... While MacKenzie Blackwood made his NHL debut against the Blue Jackets a year ago yesterday, there’s a chance Gilles Senn could make his first NHL start tonight. ... Blackwood started last night’s game against the Capitals before being pulled after allowing five goals, and Senn made his NHL debut in relief. ... A couple players out for New Jersey are Louis Domingue (lower body) who is day-to-day and Matt Tennyson (upper body) who is on IR.

Season Series

12/21/2019 NJ @ CBJ
01/18/2020 NJ @ CBJ
02/16/2020 CBJ @ NJ
03/23/2020 CBJ @ NJ

Stats Preview

New Jersey Columbus
2.41 (30) GPG 2.57 (28)
3.47 (30) GAPG 2.91 (13)
13.7% (29) PP% 17.8% (20)
78.5% (21) PK% 80.0% (18)
46.90% (28) 5v5 Corsi % 50.90% (10)
48.10% (26) 5v5 Fenwick % 52.60% (6)
7.4 (22) 5v5 Shot % 6.5 (30)
.902 (28) 5v5 Save % .921 (11)
Kyle Palmieri,
G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois,
Nico Hischier, Nikita Gusev,
A Leader Gustav Nyquist,
Kyle Palmieri,
P Leader Gustav Nyquist,
P.K. Subban,
PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois,
6-10-0 Home / Road 10-8-1
2-7-1 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Alexandre Texier Pierre-Luc Dubois Eric Robinson
Gustav Nyquist

Boone Jenner

Oliver Bjorkstrand

Nick Foligno

Alexander Wennberg Kevin Stenlund

Jakob Lilja

Riley Nash Ryan MacInnis
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Scott Harrington Dean Kukan
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins

New Jersey Devils

Jesper Bratt Nico Hischier Kyle Palmieri
Blake Coleman Travis Zajac Nikita Gusev
Jack Hughes Wayne Simmonds
Miles Wood Michael McLeod Jesper Boqvist
Andy Greene P.K. Subban
Will Butcher Sami Vatanen
Mirco Mueller Damon Severson
Mackenzie Blackwood
Evan Cormier