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Game #49 Preview: The Devils come back to Columbus

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Can the Jackets keep their streak alive?

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey Devils at Columbus Blue Jackets
Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s blog: All About the Jersey

New Jersey Devils, 17-23-7, 41 points, 8th Metro, 14th East
@
Columbus Blue Jackets, 24-16-8, 56 points, 5th Metro, 8th East

Well, the Jackets are officially on a roll.

A gritty win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday slipped the Jackets into a wild card spot. Obviously, nothing is set in stone — but this is an entirely different situation from where the Jackets were at in the beginning of December.

Tonight, we’ll see if the Jackets can notch another win in this streak against the flailing New Jersey Devils.

Player to Watch

Nathan Gerbe has been playing his ass off since he was called up in December — in the 12 games he’s played with the CBJ this season, he’s got three goals and four assists for a total of seven points.

Every single game, he goes out and strengthens his case for why he should be a regular on the roster even as the Jackets begin to return from some long-term injuries. His work ethic is fun to watch and it will be interesting to see how his hard work is rewarded as the season continues.

Jackets Notes

John Tortorella hit a milestone with this club this week:

While choosing arbitrary dates to examine in order to put a team’s statistics in the most flattering perspective isn’t my favorite benchmark for success, this is an interesting and unexpected reality for the Jackets right now:

And here’s a look ahead at what a win tonight will mean for the Jackets:

If you need something to tide you over until the game starts at 7 p.m., Cam Atkinson will be featured on NHL Network Ice Time, the network’s weekly show geared towards kids, demonstrating a figure eight drill at 9 p.m. and noon.

The Other Bench

Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood returned from injury and rejoined the Devils in Columbus yesterday. The Devils are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Capitols on Thursday, after having dominated them 5-1 only five days before on January 11. The Devils are on a bit of a losing tear right now, having lost to the Maple Leafs 7-4 on January 14, despite a hat-trick by Blake Coleman. The Devils’ most formidable line as of late has been that of Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac, and Nikita Gusev. The Jackets will need to come out strong and keep this trio under control tonight.

Season Series

12/21/2019 NJD 1 @ CBJ 5
1/18/2020 NJD @ CBJ
2/16/2020 CBJ @ NJD
3/23/2020 CBJ @ NJD

Stats

New Jersey Columbus
2.64 (25) GPG 2.65 (24)
3.49 (30) GAPG 2.58 (4)
14.2% (30) PP% 17.5% (23)
79.4% (17) PK% 82.0% (11)
47.3% (27) 5v5 Corsi % 48.5% (22)
47.9% (26) 5v5 Fenwick % 50.6% (12)
7.8% (21) 5v5 Shot % 7.0% (27)
.906 (29) 5v5 Save % .930 (6)
Blake Coleman, 19 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, Zach Werenski, 15
Nikita Gusev, 20 A Leader Seth Jones, Gustav Nyquist, 21
Kyle Palmieri, 31 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 34
Wayne Simmonds, 54 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 50
10-14-0 Home / Road 14-9-2
5-4-1 Last 10 7-2-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gustav Nyquist Boone Jenner Nick Foligno
Emil Bemstrom Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Nathan Gerbe Alexander Wennberg Kevin Stenlund
Jakob Lilja Riley Nash Eric Robinson
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Scott Harrington Markus Nutivaara
Elvis Merzlikins
Veini Vehvilainen
New Jersey Devils
Miles Wood Nico Hischier Jesper Bratt
Blake Coleman Travis Zajac Nikita Gusev
Pavel Zacha Jack Hughes Wayne Simmonds
Jesper Boqvist Michael McLeod John Hayden
Andy Greene P.K. Subban
Damon Severson Sami Vatanan
Will Butcher Connor Carrick
Louis Domingue
Cory Schneider