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Game #70 Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets look to salvage road trip with visit to Vancouver Canucks

Here’s what you need to know.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Columbus Blue Jackets Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks
Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 10:00 EST
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s blog: Nucks Misconduct

Columbus Blue Jackets, 32-22-15, 79 points, 5th Metro, 8th East
Vancouver Canucks, 35-26-6, 76 points, 4th Pacific, 7th West

If the Columbus Blue Jackets want to salvage anything from this trip to western Canada, the team should probably find a way to salvage third periods.

Against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, the Jackets gave up two goals in the third period before falling in overtime. Last night, after playing well and dominating the Edmonton Oilers everywhere but the scoreboard for the first forty minutes, the Oilers put three past Joonas Korpisalo to blow the game open in the final twenty and send the Jackets to their eleventh loss in thirteen games.

Thankfully for the Jackets, no one else in the Metropolitan Division seems to want to win right now either. If the Jackets are going to make the postseason, however, they cannot simply rely on others to lose (especially when all of the other teams have games in hand).

After a comeback win in the third period last Sunday against these same Canucks, now would be an excellent chance to put together a complete game and come home with two much needed points in the bag. Time is running out and the Jackets don’t have many games left - they cannot afford to let more points slip away.

Player to Watch

Elvis Merzlikins

He’s back! After backing up Korpisalo last night, Elvis is expected to get the start against the Canucks tonight. Elvis was playing well before he was hurt on a play in which he was run over by Anthony Duclair and missed about two weeks with what is officially being called an upper body injury. Elvis has been a rock behind the Blue Jackets defense and, if this team is going to make a run at the playoffs, he will have to do so again tonight.

Jackets Notes

With Elvis’ return, the Jackets have assigned Matiss Kivlenieks to Cleveland ... With his goal last week against the Canucks, Werenski became the first Blue Jackets defenseman to hit 20 goals in franchise history ... Tonight will be Werenski’s 300th professional game for the Jackets ... oh, and Ryan Murray is out again

The Other Bench

JT Miller has 27-44-71 since joining the Canucks from the Tampa Bay Lightning this past summer ... The Canucks are coming into this game on the heels of a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche with two points each from Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon ... The Canucks are expected to be without Brock Boeser, Jay Beagle, and Jacob Markstrom (among others) tonight

Season Series

03/01/2020 VAN 3 @ CBJ 5
03/08/2020 CBJ @ VAN


Vancouver Columbus
3.25 (9) GPG 2.58 (27)
3.06 (15) GAPG 2.61 (4)
24.3% (3) PP% 16.0% (26)
80.7% (15) PK% 81.4% (13)
48.4% (22) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 49.1% (18)
49.0% (20) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 50.9% (13)
8.5 (12) 5v5 Shot % 6.8 (29)
.920 (14) 5v5 Save % .928 (5)
J.T. Miller, 27 G Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand, 21
J.T. Miller, 44 A Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 30
J.T. Miller 71 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 48
Alexander Edler, 62 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 62
21-8-4 Home / Road 12-10-11
4-5-1 Last 10 2-4-4

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Boone Jenner Nick Foligno
Alexander Wennberg Pierre-Luc Dubois Emil Bemstrom
Jakob Lilja Devin Shore Stefan Matteau
Eric Robinson Riley Nash Kevin Stenlund
Zach Werenski Markus Nutivaara
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Scott Harrington Andrew Peeke
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Vancouver Canucks
Elias Pettersson J.T. Miller Tyler Toffoli
Loui Eriksson Bo Horvat Tanner Pearson
Tyler Motte Jay Beagle Brandon Sutter
Antoine Roussel Adam Gaudette Jake Virtanen
Quinn Hughes Chris Tanev
Oscar Fantenberg Tyler Myers
Alexander Edler Troy Stecher
Louis Domingue
Thatcher Demko