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Game #16 Preview/Gamethread: Blue Jackets search for their defensive game in Chicago

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Here’s what you need to know

Columbus Blue Jackets v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday, February 13, 2021 - 8:00 EST
United Center - Chicago, Illinois
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Second City Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets (7-5-3, 17 points, 3rd Central)

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Chicago Blackhawks (6-5-4, 16 points, 5th Central)

The good news is that after a slow start, the Blue Jackets are averaging over four goals a game over their last five games! The bad news is they’re allowing just as much. Oof. Thursday’s comeback victory over Chicago was actually one of the few games this season where the Jackets have dominated possession, but they had some bad lapses in the defensive end on which the Blackhawks capitalized. Can they tighten that up without sacrificing their newly-found offensive aggression?

Player to Watch

Zach Werenski

Yesterday, John Tortorella said that Werenski would be “good to go” tonight. He was starting to look better before his ankle injury, and the blue line could really use him back on his game. Will he automatically slot back in with Seth Jones, or will they be split up?

Jackets Notes

Elvis Merzlikins practiced with the team yesterday, so he may be activated as well ... In every Jackets’ series this season except for the opener in Nashville, the road team has won the first game and the home team has won the second. Can the Jackets snap that tonight? ... Jack Roslovic is red-hot, with points in his last six games (4 goals, 5 assists) ... His linemate Cam Atkinson has scored three of his four goals on the season in the last four games. He had a four point effort (1 goal, 3 assists) on Thursday ... Kevin Stenlund also has a point streak, with at least one in each of his four games this season ... The deservedly maligned power play has been heating up lately, with goals in five of the last eight games. Unfortunately, the penalty kill has surrendered a goal in five of the last seven games.

The Other Bench

Columbus native Connor Murphy is still out with a hip injury ... Ryan Carpenter and Lucas Wallmark remain on the COVID list ... Alex DeBrincat, who missed the first series against Columbus, had a three point game on Thursday. He has nine points in five games since returning from the IR ... Both Columbus and Chicago have scored 44 goals in 15 games, but Chicago has 10 more power play goals.

Season Series

01/29/2021 CBJ 2 @ CHI 1
01/31/2021 CBJ 1 @ CHI 3
02/11/2021 CBJ 6 @ CHI 5
02/13/2021 CBJ @ CHI
02/23/2021 CHI @ CBJ
02/25/2021 CHI @ CBJ
04/10/2021 CHI @ CBJ
04/12/2021 CHI @ CBJ

Stats

Chicago Columbus
2.93 (16) GPG 2.93 (16)
3.00 (18) GAPG 3.27 (24)
36.2% (3) PP% 17.1% (19)
80.0% (16) PK% 75.8% (22)
46.1% (30) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.7% (28)
46.3% (30) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.0% (25)
6.5 (25) 5v5 Shot % 9.0 (11)
.923 (9) 5v5 Save % .908 (24)
Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane, 7 G Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, Boone Jenner, Nick Foligno, Cam Atkinson, Jack Roslovic, and Alexandre Texier, 4
Patrick Kane, 13 A Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 8
Patrick Kane, 20 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 12
Duncan Keith, 12 PIM Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 23
4-2-1 Home / Road 3-3-1
5-2-3 Last 10 6-3-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Cam Atkinson
Max Domi Kevin Stenlund Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Riley Nash Eric Robinson
Mikhail Grigorenko Boone Jenner Alexandre Texier
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Michael Del Zotto David Savard
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Chicago Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat Pius Suter Patrick Kane
Brandon Hagel David Kampf Matthew Highmore
Mattias Janmark Dylan Strome Dominik Kubalik
Philipp Kurashev Carl Soderberg
Duncan Keith Ian Mitchell
Lucas Carlsson Calvin De Haan
Nicolas Beaudin/Madison Bowey Nikita Zadorov
Kevin Lankinen
Malcolm Subban