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Game #68 Preview: Jackets hope to maintain last game’s spark against the Flames

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The Jackets need to set the tone for this west coast stint tonight.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Columbus Blue Jackets Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 8:30 EST
Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, Alberta
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Calgary Flames (34-26-7, 75 points, 3rd Pacific, 6th West)

vs.

Columbus Blue Jackets (32-21-14, 78 points, 5th Metro, 8th East)

In their last game before leaving town for this western Canada trip, the Jackets came from behind, scoring four goals in the third period to surpass the shocked Vancouver Canucks and winning 5-3.

It was certainly the boost of energy the Jackets needed, given their 2-4-4 record in the last ten games. But the Jackets will need to do a lot more than just give it their all in one period over the course of the next three games against some tough Canadian teams. Also, the Canucks will be out for blood in their rematch on Sunday night.

Player to Watch

Kevin Stenlund has been really stepping up to the plate lately, hitting 10 points as of the last game and making important plays happen while the rest of the team seemed to be stagnating. He scored the first in a total of five goals against Vancouver the other night - to say it was much-needed would be an understatement. With much of the focus of this season being on the noticeable on-ice absences due to injury, Stenlund has been among the few stalwarts immune to injury (knock on wood) and able to pull out big plays when they’re needed.

Jackets Notes

If you listened to our podcast from yesterday, you’ll have heard MrSwift13 ruin our lives with the real-time announcement that Josh Anderson’s season is officially over after a necessary shoulder surgery. Elvis Merzlikins was on the ice with the team in Calgary yesterday, his first time out since his game-ending injury last Monday. Ryan Murray also made an impactful appearance after a 34-game injured stint on Sunday, helping with two assists and contributing solid defense to a squad that’s sorely missing Seth Jones.

The Other Bench

The Flames are 5-4-1 in their last ten games, most of which have been on the road - they certainly possess the type of momentum necessary to steamroll a fragile Blue Jackets team, and they haven’t been dealing with the same level of injuries either. Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau are two of their most dangerous players on offense currently, each with 56 points.

Season Series

11/2/19 CGY 3 @ CBJ 0
3/4/2020 CBJ @ CGY

Stats

Calgary Columbus
2.91 (20) GPG 2.61 (27)
3.06 (17) GAPG 2.61 (4)
20.9% (14) PP% 16.9% (25)
82.2% (8) PK% 81.1% (13)
50.5% (15) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 49.0% (20)
49.9% (17) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 50.8% (13)
7.6 (22) 5v5 Shot % 6.8 (29)
.919 (15) 5v5 Save % .928 (5)
Elias Lindholm, 28 G Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand, 21
Johnny Gaudreau, 39 A Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 29
Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, 56 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 47
Matthew Tkachuk, 74 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 62
14-12-4 Home / Road 12-9-10
5-4-1 Last 10 2-4-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Boone Jenner Nick Foligno
Stefan Matteau Alexander Wennberg Riley Nash
Devin Shore Pierre-Luc Dubois Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Kevin Stenlund Ryan MacInnis
Zach Werenski David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Joonas Korpisalo
Matiss Kivlenieks
Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Elias Lindholm
Andrew Mangiapane Mikael Backlund Matthew Tkachuk
Milan Lucic Derek Ryan Dillon Dube
Sam Bennett Mark Jankowski Tobias Rieder
Mark Giordano T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin Rasmus Andersson
Derek Forbort Erik Gustafsson
Dave Rittich
Cam Talbot