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Game #12 Preview: Tuesday’s game was out of Laine; will tonight be better?

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Jackets were touched by the Red Curse in their first game against the Dallas Stars.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Defending Big D

Dallas Stars (5-1-1, 11 points, 4th Central)

at

Columbus Blue Jackets (4-4-3, 11 points, 5th Central)

Well, Tuesday could have gone better.

The Jackets fell hard to the Dallas Stars, 6-3. It honestly could have been worse - the Jackets mustered a late-game push with two goals in the third period, but it wasn’t enough against the Stars, who ran away with the game in the second period.

It wasn’t the debut anyone hoped to see from Patrik Laine, but he was completely set up for failure - he had just been activated off the IR and had just started playing with his teammates that day. So I will happily pretend that tonight is his actual debut and that Tuesday was just a crappy dry run, and I invite all of you to join me in that Laine of thinking (ha ha, I will probably stop with the Laine puns at some point but there is no guarantee).

So what do the Jackets need to do tonight to right the ship? Well, John Tortorella has challenged them to find their identity - right now, they look like a team without a purpose, a boat without a rudder, a road trip without a destination. In theory, the pieces are there - and we see gleaming moments of promise, such as a power play goal from Seth Jones, that inflate hope in our chests, only to be viciously popped by something like five goals in two periods by an opponent.

Player to Watch

Patrik Laine (again)

Like I said, we’re giving him a do-over. His post-game interview was blunt and encouraging on Tuesday - he owned his mistakes and seems to know what he needs to do to be better.

Here are his comments, if you missed them:

Jackets Notes

Today is Liam Foudy’s birthday - it’s also Mark Letestu, Manny Legace, and Dave Maetzold’s birthday. Big week for Blue Jackets birthdays, JLGP’s was Tuesday! Who knew the org leaned so heavily Aquarius? Also, Riley Nash, who missed Tuesday’s game due to the birth of his son Rhett Nash (congratulations, Clare and Riley!) will be back in tonight for Liam Foudy, who is heading up to Cleveland.

Joonas Korpisalo will start in net tonight, after finishing out the game on Tuesday for Elvis Merzlikins.

Tonight is also Hockey Fights Cancer night for the Blue Jackets, and this year is even more personal than most - everyone at The Cannon is so grateful for the work you do, Jeff Svoboda, and we are behind you every step of the way during your recovery!

The Other Bench

Despite some postponed games to start their season, the Dallas Stars have clearly hit the ground running - they overcame CBJ in the Central standings after Tuesdays game, trading with CBJ from fifth to fourth.

Season Series

02/02/2021 DAL @ CBJ
02/04/2021 DAL @ CBJ
03/04/2021 CBJ @ DAL
03/06/2021 CBJ @ DAL
03/13/2021 DAL @ CBJ
03/15/2021 DAL @ CBJ
04/15/2021 CBJ @ DAL
04/17/2021 CBJ @ DAL

Stats

Dallas Columbus
4.14 (2) GPG 2.36 (27)
2.29 (5) GAPG 3.00 (17)
40.6% (3) PP% 13.8% (23)
78.1% (19) PK% 80.0% (14)
48.4% (19) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.8% (28)
48.8% (21) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.7% (25)
10.3 (6) 5v5 Shot % 7.7 (17)
.934 (5) 5v5 Save % .925 (11)
Joe Pavelski, 7 G Leader Alexandre Texier, 4
John Klingberg, 8 A Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 5
Joe Pavelski, 14 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 8
Mark Pysyk, 8 PIM Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 23
1-1-1 Home / Road 2-1-2
5-1-1 Last 10 4-3-3

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Alexandre Texier Max Domi Patrik Laine
Eric Robinson Jack Roslovic Cam Atkinson
Mikhail Grigorenko Riley Nash Oliver Bjorkstrand
Boone Jenner Mikko Koivu Nick Foligno
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Michael Del Zotto Dean Kukan
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Dallas Stars
Jason Dickinson Roope Hintz Denis Gurianov
Andrew Cogliano Blake Comeau Radek Faksa
Jamie Benn Joe Pavelski Alexander Radulov
Tanner Kero Joel L'Esperance Nick Caamano
Esa Lindell John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen Jamie Oleksiak
Joel Hanley Mark Pysyk
Anton Khudobin
Jake Oettinger