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Game #10 Preview/Gamethread: Avalanche follow Blue Jackets home

The Jackets are looking to sweep the home-and-home series.

Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Colorado Avalanche
Saturday, November 6, 2021 - 7:00 PM EDT
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Bally Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Mile High Hockey

Colorado Avalanche, 4-4-1, 9 points, 6th Central, 11th West
@
Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-3-0, 12 points, 5th Metro, 7th East

The surprise starts of both teams continued on Wednesday night when the Blue Jackets defeated the Avalanche in overtime. The same teams will finish of the home-and-home series tonight at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets are 4-1-0 at home so far this season and are looking to continue that trend as they settle in for a 10 day, 4 game homestand.

Patrik Laine left the bench in the third period on Wednesday night. It was announced Friday morning that he suffered an oblique strain and will miss the next four to six weeks. That is unfortunate news for the Finn, who was having a great start to the season. He is currently second on the team in scoring with a 3-7-10 scoresheet.

As a result of the Laine injury, Yegor Chinakhov will get his best chance yet to prove he belongs in the NHL. As of Friday morning, it appears that Chinakhov will be starting on the top line alongside Cole Sillinger and Jakub Voracek. Kevin Stenlund will draw in on the third line.

Also of note, Cole Sillinger will be playing his tenth game of the season. That means his entry level contract fully kicks in and he’s one year closer to a new deal. He’ll have to surpass the 40 game mark to inch himself closer to UFA status, but he’s earned every bit of both so far. Cole made another large stride in the last game by scoring two goals, playing well defensively against a good team, and ultimately earning his way to the number one center spot.

Player to Watch

Oliver Bjorkstrand

Bjorkstrand quietly earned another two assists in Wednesday night’s win and improved to 4-8-12 in 9 games. For a historically slow starter, the Dane has been on fire to start the season. He’s currently tied for 9th in the league in scoring and leads the team in both CF% and xGF% at 5v5. The with-or-without-you chart for Bjorkstrand, courtesy of HockeyViz, shows that he is consistent no matter who he’s on the ice with and makes whoever he’s on the ice with better.

Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche are off to a slow start, but don’t expect it to stay that way. They will eventually start to figure things out and become the dangerous team they are known to be. Tonight could be a step in the right direction for them as Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky are both expected to return from injury. The Blue Jackets will face the tough challenge of holding back a hungry and reinforced Avalanche lineup.

Season Series

11/03/2021 - CBJ 5 @ COL 4 OT
11/06/2021 - COL @ CBJ

Stats

Colorado Columbus
3.00 (11) GPG 3.00 (11)
3.56 (27) GAPG 2.89 (17)
11.8% (29) PP% 25.0% (10)
81.8% (16) PK% 80.0% (20)
50.19% (15) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 48.66% (20)
48.67% (20) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.45% (23)
7.41 (15) 5v5 Shooting % 7.77 (13)
.906 (29) 5v5 Save % .936 (8)
JT Compher, 5 G Leader Boone Jenner, 6
Nathan MacKinnon, 9 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 9
MacKinnon & Landeskog, 10 P Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand, 12
Nazem Kadri, 24 PIM Leader Jakub Voracek, Cole Sillinger, 10
2-2-0 Home / Road 4-1-0
4-4-1 Last 10 6-3-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Yegor Chinakhov Cole Sillinger Jakub Voracek
Gustav Nyquist Boone Jenner Oliver Bjorkstrand
Gregory Hofmann Jack Roslovic Kevin Stenlund
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Alexandre Texier
Zach Werenski Jake Bean
Vladislav Gavrikov Gavin Bayreuther
Gabriel Carlsson Andrew Peeke
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Colorado Avalanche
Gabriel Landeskog Nathan MacKinnon Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky Nazem Kadri J.T. Compher
Sampo Ranta Tyson Jost Logan O'Connor
Darren Helm Jayson Megna Kiefer Sherwood
Jack Johnson Bowen Byram
Erik Johnson Ryan Murray
Samuel Girard Devon Toews
Darcy Kuemper
Jonas Johannsson