New Jersey Devils (4-2-0)
Columbus Blue Jackets (2-2-1)
We’re getting closer to the real deal as the Blue Jackets kick off the regular season one week from tonight against the Maple Leafs. But first, they meet the Devils Friday night at Nationwide Arena as they play dress rehearsal with the conclusion of the preseason Sunday.
Player to Watch
Joonas Korpisalo is expected to return to the net after relinquishing duties to Elvis Merzlikins for the past two games. Korpisalo has participated in both preseason wins, including his recent appearance against the Penguins, a 3-1 win last Saturday. So far he has only allowed one goal. Granted, he’s played briefly, about a game and a half so far, and against less-than-full NHL squads. In addition, the Jackets have been giving Merzlikins, Matiss Kivlenieks, and Veini Vehvilainen more of a look to this point, particularly Merzlikins.
You would expect Korpisalo to play the full game tonight against the Devils, which will be a nice test going up against most of the NHLers, and after nearly a week off. It would appear he will enter the season as the number one for John Tortorella.
On Thursday, the Blue Jackets sent 10 more players to Cleveland as the roster now stands at 28. We’re monitoring the reported injury to Emil Bemstrom, as reported by Alison Kukan yesterday, but it doesn’t sound serious.
Bemstrom nicked up. Tortorella expects him back at practice tomorrow #CBJ— Alison (@AlisonL) September 26, 2019
Check that ... Emil Bemstrom is not skating today.— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) September 26, 2019
Here were line rush combos:
It was also reported Brandon Dubinsky will miss time with a wrist injury.
The Other Bench
New Jersey looks to get back to the playoffs after a year off. Since 2016-17, the Devils have alternated last place Metro finishes with fourth place in the division. They enter Nationwide tonight expecting to ice close to their full squad, and off-season acquisitions include P.K. Subban, Nikita Gusev, and Wayne Simmonds.
Defenseman Will Butcher has gotten off to a nice start with five points (two goals, three assists), and a slew of forwards are tied with four points, including phenom and first overall pick Jack Hughes (three goals, one assist). MacKenzie Blackwood (1-1-0, .912, 2.28) and Cory Schneider (1-0-0, .935, 2.57) have each gotten in three preseason games so far.
Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
Updated #NJDevils roster now lists Jesper Boqvist and Ty Smith for the game against Columbus.— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) September 26, 2019
They'll travel with the team tomorrow.
We'll see where everyone lines up at morning skate around 11am on Friday. https://t.co/bikMsrn8jR
We’ll get to see the promising talent of Hughes on full display, as well as most of the Devils that we can expect over the course of the regular season.