clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game #46 Preview: Jackets rematch the Knights

New, comments

The last game in a long week out west.

Vegas Golden Knights v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday, January 10, 2020 - 10:00 EST
T-Mobile Arena - Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Knights on Ice

Columbus Blue Jackets (21-16-8, 50 points, 10th Metro, 9th East)

at

Vegas Golden Knights (24-17-6, 54 points, 1st Pacific, 4th West)

The Jackets close out their loooong week out west tonight in Vegas. They’re looking to avenge the close loss they experienced at home on November 5, plus end the trip on a high note after looking a bit drowsy in San Jose on Thursday night.

Player to Watch

Zach Werenski. He’s on fire right now, in case you hadn’t heard — he’s been an integral part of the Jackets’ recent point streak and has been a driving force behind their goals scored this season. He leads the team right now with 15 goals this season — as a defenseman. Not sure if this is more of a great look for him or a bad look for the offensive position players, but considering the uncertainty in lineups and the rash of injuries this season, we’ll just appreciate the fact that Zach is killing it.

Jackets Notes

We are finally, dare I say it, approaching the return of several key members from their injuries — Cam Atkinson has been skating, Andrew Peeke flew out to meet the team this week in California after being cleared to play, Emil Bemstrom and Sonny Milano are back and appear healthy, and hopefully Bjorkstrand isn’t too far out. Hey, remember Brandon Dubinsky? Wonder what he’s up to.

While the unwarranted loss of Joonas Korpisalo to a torn meniscus/bad officiating could have potentially derailed the season, Elvis Merzlikins has stepped up to save the day. He certainly faltered in his first few chances early on in the season, but this current situation seems to be applying the type of pressure that creates diamonds. He’s been making impressive key saves, and his teammates have been stepping up to block shots too. Not only has it been a relief to watch, knowing that Korpi’s hard work in the first leg of this season wasn’t going to be unwound, but it’s fun to watch Elvis play and develop in the NHL.

The Other Bench

Vegas is entering this matchup on a two-game losing streak — first to Pittsburgh on Jan. 7, then to the Kings on Jan. 9. So, much like the Blue Jackets, they’ve had a busy week, with the added advantage of being home tonight. Their player to watch will be Max Pacioretty, who was recently added to the All-Star roster through the fan vote and is leading the team in goals, points, shots, power play points, games played, and is second on the team in assists. The Jackets will have to make sure he’s covered tonight if they want the game to go smoothly.

Season Series

11/05/19 VGK 2 @ CBJ 1
01/11/20 CBJ @ VGK

Stats

Vegas Columbus
3.11 (13) GPG 2.62 (27)
3.02 (14) GAPG 2.71 (7)
22.3% (9) PP% 16.8% (25)
80.1% (18) PK% 80.8% (15)
53.5% (3) 5v5 Corsi % 49.3% (18)
53.6% (3) 5v5 Fenwick % 51.4% (9)
7.6 (22) 5v5 Shot % 6.8 (29)
.910 (25) 5v5 Save % .926 (7)
Max Pacioretty, 20 G Leader Zach Werenski, 15
Mark Stone, 27 A Leader Gus Nyquist, 21
Max Pacioretty, 45 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 33
Brayden McNabb, 36 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 50
14-9-3 Home / Road 9-7-6
5-4-1 Last 10 6-2-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Pierre-Luc Dubois Nathan Gerbe
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Sonny Milano
Emil Bemstrom Alexander Wennberg Kevin Stenlund
Jakob Lilja Riley Nash Eric Robinson
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Scott Harrington Markus Nutivaara
Elvis Merzlikins
Matiss Kivlenieks
Vegas Golden Knights
Chandler Stephenson William Karlsson Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty Paul Stastny Mark Stone
Tomas Nosek Cody Eakin Alex Tuch
Will Carrier Nicolas Roy Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb Nate Schmidt
Nick Holden Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague Deryk Engelland
Marc-Andre Fleury
Malcolm Subban