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Game #28 Preview: Blue Jackets face McDavid and the Oilers

Don’t commit any penalties...

Columbus Blue Jackets v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets at Edmonton Oilers
Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 9:00 PM EST
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
TV: Bally Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Copper and Blue

Columbus Blue Jackets (14-11-1, 29 points, 5th Metro, 10th East)

@

Edmonton Oilers (16-11-0, 32 points, 4th Pacific, 8th West)

The Blue Jackets are coming off a frustrating loss against the Canucks where they blew another three goal lead. Now they head to Edmonton to take on the two leading scorers in the NHL. This feels like a bad matchup for the Blue Jackets defensively, but the Oilers do give up a decent numbers of goals the other way. They have also lost their last six games in regulation. The key will be to staying out of the box. The Oilers lead the league in power play percentage at 30.9 — McDavid and Draisaitl have already combined for 18 power play goals this season.

One piece of housekeeping — Saturday’s game against Calgary has been postponed due to a COVID outbreak in the Flames’ locker room. The Jackets will head home after tonight’s game before flying to Buffalo for Monday’s game against the Sabres.

Player(s) to Watch

McDavid & Draisaitl

These two are scoring at an incredible pace. Both have 45 points in 27 games — a 137 point pace. Draisaitl is hunting down Ovechkin’s salary cap era record of 65 goals set in 2007-2008. McDavid continues to be an ankle breaker and a highlight reel machine.

Blue Jackets Notes

Your guess is as good as mine on what lineup changes, if any, could happen prior to tonight. Brad Larsen didn’t want to make any changes after the team barely held on and gutted out an OT win against Seattle. After the terrible loss in Vancouver, I would expect someone to come out. That could be a veteran and/or someone like Hofmann or Danforth. Laine is also on the verge of returning to the lineup.

Season Series

12/16/21 - CBJ @ EDM
4/24/22 - EDM @ CBJ

Stats

Edmonton Columbus
3.30 (7) GPG 3.22 (9)
3.15 (21) GAPG 3.30 (25)
30.9% (1) PP% 19.4% (15)
82.1% (11) PK% 80.0% (17)
50.4% (17) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 48.3% (24)
49.0% (19) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.3% (25)
7.8% (16) 5v5 Shooting % 9.0% (5)
.911 (27) 5v5 Save % .912 (26)
Leon Draisaitl, 23 G Leader Boone Jenner, 11
Connor McDavid, 29 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 21
Draisaitl & McDavid, 45 P Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand, 23
Zach Kassian, 31 PIM Leader Sillinger & Peeke, 19
9-6-0 Home / Road 5-9-0
3-7-0 Last 10 3-6-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Max Domi Jack Roslovic Jakub Voracek
Gus Nyquist Cole Sillinger Justin Danforth
Gregory Hofmann Boone Jenner Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Alexandre Texier
Zach Werenski Jake Bean
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Gabriel Carlsson Gavin Bayreuther
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Leon Draisaitl Kailer Yamamoto
Warren Foegele Connor McDavid Jesse Puljujarvi
Colton Sceviour Derek Ryan Zack Kassian
Tyler Benson Devin Shore Kyle Turris
Cody Ceci Duncan Keith
Evan Bouchard Darnell Nurse
Tyson Barrie Markus Niemelainen
Mikko Koskinen
Stuart Skinner