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Game #20 Preview: Surprising Blackhawks come to Columbus

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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

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Second City Hockey

Chicago Blackhawks (9-6-4, 22 points, 4th Central)

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Columbus Blue Jackets (8-7-4, 20 points, 5th Central)

Will the Blue Jackets have another lackluster performance? Or will this be one of those games where they show up for at least two periods and get a win?

Player to Watch

Patrick Kane

I don’t think I need to tell you to watch Kane, since it’s obvious every time he’s on the ice. He’s 32 years old and in his 14th (!) season, but shows no signs of slowing down. He is collecting assists and points at a rate ahead of his Hart Trophy-winning campaign in 2015-16. He leads the league in both categories among players not able to collect free points against Ottawa in the Scotia North Division. (Is Canada even a real place? You can’t prove it is). Against the Blue Jackets, Kane has three multi-point games this year already, with at least a point in all four games (2 G, 6 A).

Jackets Notes

Elvis Merzlikins is out on a “week-to-week” basis after suffering an injury in Saturday’s loss to Nashville. Matiss Kivlenieks was activated off the IR and will serve as the backup in Elvis’s absence ... Michael Del Zotto missed practice yesterday, so it is unclear whether he will play today. David Savard did return from illness for practice, so he should return to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game.

The Other Bench

Columbus native Connor Murphy returns to the lineup after missing two weeks with a hip injury. He takes the place of Lucas Carlsson, who was placed on the IR with a strained groin ... Center Dylan Strome is in the concussion protocol ... After beating the Jackets in overtime on February 13, the Blackhawks embarked on a 10 day, 5 game road trip. So far they have swept the Red Wings and lost at Carolina.

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 2 @ CHI 3 (OT)
02/23/2021 CHI @ CBJ
02/25/2021 CHI @ CBJ
04/10/2021 CHI @ CBJ
04/12/2021 CHI @ CBJ

Stats

Chicago Columbus
2.89 (18) GPG 2.84 (19)
2.84 (19) GAPG 3.32 (26)
32.2% (5) PP% 15.2% (23)
80.0% (12) PK% 73.8% (26)
45.9% (29) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.8% (30)
45.6% (30) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.5% (29)
6.3 (28) 5v5 Shot % 8.6 (11)
.926 (7) 5v5 Save % .911 (27)
Alex DeBrincat, 9 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 7
Patrick Kane, 18 A Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 10
Patrick Kane, 26 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND and Cam Atkinson, 14
Duncan Keith, 14 PIM Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 23
4-4-3 Home / Road 5-3-2
7-2-1 Last 10 4-5-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Cam Atkinson
Mikhail Grigorenko Kevin Stenlund Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Alexandre Texier
Max Domi Riley Nash Eric Robinson
Vladislav Gavrikov Seth Jones
Scott Harrington Andrew Peeke
Gabriel Carlsson David Savard
Joonas Korpisalo
Matiss Kivlenieks
Chicago Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat Pius Suter Patrick Kane
Ryan Carpenter David Kampf Dominik Kubalik
Mattias Janmark Carl Soderberg Philipp Kurashev
Brandon Hagel Lucas Wallmark
Duncan Keith Ian Mitchell
Calvin De Haan Adam Boqvist
Connor Murphy Nikita Zadorov
Kevin Lankinen
Malcolm Subban