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Preseason Game #1 Preview/Gamethread: Jackets kick things off against the Sabres

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Time to watch some new guys in action

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: BlueJackets.com/Live or Fox Sports Go; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Die by the Blade

Columbus Blue Jackets (0-0-0)

vs.

Buffalo Sabres (1-0-0)

The preseason finally begins tonight for Columbus, with a Tuesday night meeting with our Wednesday Night Rivals, the Buffalo Sabres. The lineup is stocked with young forwards all vying for a couple of roster spots. Who will make the most of it?

This post will also serve as the gamethread tonight, whether you’re at Nationwide, watching the video stream, listening on the radio, or simply following along with the gamecast.

Player to Watch

Emil Bemstrom

Bemstrom led the Swedish league in goals last season, following the footsteps of other successful teenagers like Elias Pettersson. He missed the Traverse City tournament last week due to a facial injury, so tonight is his first chance this fall to impress the coaches and management. I’ll be curious to see who he plays on a line with. Mostly I want to see if his lethal shot translates to the NHL.

Jackets Notes

Based on the forward roster for tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alexandre Texier continue to play center, as he did in Traverse City ... This is Joonas Korpisalo’s chance to make a statement in the goalie battle. What I want to see from him is making all of the easy and medium difficulty saves, and some of the hard ones ... Presumably Seth Jones and Zach Werenski will play together, which would leave a potential preview of the regular season third pairing with Dean Kukan and Vladislav Gavrikov together.

The Other Bench

Buffalo played their first preseason game last night, with captain Jack Eichel scoring the OT winner against Pittsburgh at Penn State’s arena. This despite our colleagues at Die by the Blade insisting he doesn’t need to become an elite goal scorer.

With many of their stars - including Eichel, Jeff Skinner, and Rasmus Dahlin - playing last night, there’s a good chance we’ll see a lot of AHL types in tonight’s lineup.

Rosters

Columbus Blue Jackets

From BlueJackets.com

FORWARDS

52 - Emil Bemstrom
28 - Oliver Bjorkstrand
29 - Zac Dalpe
17 - Brandon Dubinsky
22 - Sonny Milano
20 - Riley Nash
88 - Kole Sherwood
83 - Egor Sokolov
11 - Kevin Stenlund
42 - Alexandre Texier
48 - Calvin Thurkauf
74 - Sam Vigneault

DEFENSE

6 - Adam Clendening
44 - Vladislav Gavrikov
3 - Seth Jones
46 - Dean Kukan
2 - Andrew Peeke
8 - Zach Werenski

GOALTENDERS

70 - Joonas Korpisalo
80 - Matiss Kivlenieks

Buffalo Sabres

(Roster to be added here when available)