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Game #80 Preview: Blue Jackets look to extend win streak as playoff push continues

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But a tough team stands in their way

NHL: Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: NBCSN; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Columbus Blue Jackets (45-30-4, 94 points, 4th Metro, 7th East)

vs.

Boston Bruins (47-23-9, 103 points, 2nd Atlantic, 2nd East)

Another big game tonight, as the Blue Jackets look to continue their five game win streak and get one step closer to the postseason. A win combined with a Montreal loss tonight would clinch a playoff berth.

Tonight’s game is the final home game of the regular season, and as it features two teams in a playoff position, it got picked up by NBCSN. Yes, Virginia, there is a hockey team in Columbus. Fancy that!

Player to Watch

Brad Marchand

Marchand is truly a player to watch, because rarely is he a quiet presence in a game. If he’s not doling out questionable hits or licking opponents’ faces, he’s out there with Boston’s top line producing goals in every game. He’s just two points away from the century mark on the season. Let’s just hope the Jackets don’t give him another reason to bust out an annoying dance after scoring a goal.

Jackets Notes

Sergei Bobrovsky was named the first star of the week by the NHL ... The Jackets announced the signing of defenseman Andrew Peeke to an entry level contract. Peeke was a second round draft pick in 2016 and just completed his junior season at Notre Dame, where he served as team captain and led them to back-to-back Big Ten championships, plus a runner-up finish in the 2018 Frozen Four ... If Cam Atkinson scores another goal, it will set the franchise record for goals in a season ... Oliver BJORKSTRAND has scored in five straight games ... Scoreboard watching: in addition to Montreal hosting Tampa, Carolina travels to Toronto. Each of those teams losing in regulation help Columbus’ playoff odds, even if we don’t take care of our own business tonight. You can watch those games for free on NHL.tv (all games are free on there this week, except for those broadcast nationally).

The Other Bench

The Bruins hold a four point lead over the Leaves for home ice in the first round, and are coasting to the finish line. They have lost their last two, including a loss to the Red Wings on Sunday ... Columbus native Sean Kuraly will not play tonight. He suffered a hand fracture on March 21 which required surgery, and is expected to be out for four weeks ... Don’t feel too bad about the slow start that Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel had here. Bruins acquisition Marcus Johansson has had much less of an impact, scoring just one assist in seven games, and he missed three weeks with a lung contusion ... The Bruins have rolled with a goalie tandem this season, as incumbent Tuuka Rask has traded off with Jaroslav Halak. Halak has been slightly better, but both have very good numbers. 26-12-5 with .914 SV% and 2.43 GAA for Rask and 21-11-4 with .920 SV% and 2.40 GAA for Halak. Each have four shutouts.

Season Series

03/12/2019 BOS 4 @ CBJ 7
03/16/2019 CBJ 1 @ BOS 2 (OT)
04/02/2019 BOS @ CBJ

Stats

Boston Columbus
3.10 (12) GPG 3.11 (11)
2.58 (3) GAPG 2.80 (11)
26.4% (3) PP% 14.9% (28)
80.6% (15) PK% 84.9% (2)
53.04% (6) EV Corsi % 50.08% (12)
100.1 (14) EV PDO 100.6 (9)
David Pastrnak, 36 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 41
Brad Marchand, 63 A Leader Artemi Panarin, 56
Brad Marchand, 98 P Leader Artemi Panarin, 83
Brad Marchand, 94 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 64
18-15-6 Home / Road 22-16-2
5-5-0 Last 10 7-2-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Matt Duchene Cam Atkinson
Ryan Dzingel Pierre Luc-Dubois Josh Anderson
Alexander Wennberg Boone Jenner Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Brandon Dubinsky Riley Nash
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara David Savard
Dean Kukan Scott Harrington
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Boston Bruins
Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Karson Kuhlman
Danton Heinen Charlie Coyle Marcus Johansson
Joakim Nordstrom Noel Acciari David Backes
Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Brandon Carlo Torey Kru
Kevan Miller Matthew Grzelcyk
Tuuka Rask
Jaroslav Halak