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Game #26 Preview: Jackets host the Panthers in front of a larger crowd

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Here’s what you need to know

Florida Panthers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Litter Box Cats

Florida Panthers (15-5-4, 34 points, 3rd Central)

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Columbus Blue Jackets (10-11-5, 25 points, 5th Central)

Both teams enter this game coming off a road loss in their last game: Columbus got shut out in Dallas on Saturday, while the Panthers lost 4-2 in Carolina on Sunday.

Player to Watch

Sergei Bobrovsky

Bob has an 8-2-2 record in his 12 starts this year, but his stats are still far from his Columbus peak. He has saved just .900 and allowed 3.02 goals per game. Backup Chris Driedger is 7-3-2 with a .920 save percentage and 2.40 goals against average, despite having the same number of saves as Bob in as many games. In such a small sample, the eight extra shots faced by Bob make a big difference on the numbers. (Props to elpalito for pointing out these stats to me)

Jackets Notes

Patrik Laine left practice early yesterday after taking an awkward fall into the boards. Keep an eye out for news on his availability today ... Elvis Merzlikins was activated off IR, with Veini Vehvilainen assigned to the Cleveland Monsters. Elvis told the media his injury was a bone bruise on his shoulder ... The Blue Jackets are wearing their third jerseys tonight. The capacity at Nationwide has been increased to 25%.

The Other Bench

Anthony Duclair has missed the last week with a lower body injury. Grigori Denisenko was assigned to the taxi squad yesterday, which suggests Duclair could be back tonight ... Keith Yandle played in his 1000th career game on Sunday. Even more impressive, he has not missed a game since the 2008-09 season.

Season Series

01/26/2021 FLA 4 @ CBJ 3 (SO)
01/28/2021 FLA 2 @ CBJ 3 (SO)
03/09/2021 FLA @ CBJ
03/11/2021 FLA @ CBJ
04/03/2021 CBJ @ FLA
04/04/2021 CBJ @ FLA
04/19/2021 CBJ @ FLA
04/20/2021 CBJ @ FLA

Stats

Florida Columbus
3.29 (5) GPG 2.62 (26)
2.83 (13) GAPG 3.19 (25)
24.7% (10) PP% 16.2% (25)
77.1% (19) PK% 74.2% (24)
52.2% (7) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.2% (31)
52.1% (5) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.3% (28)
8.1 (16) 5v5 Shot % 7.9 (19)
.929 (6) 5v5 Save % .913 (21)
Jonathan Huberdeau, 10 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 10
Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, 19 A Leader Seth Jones, 12
Jonathan Huberdeau, 29 P Leader Cam Atkinson, 19
Keith Yandle, 26 PIM Leader Max Domi, 33
8-2-1 Home / Road 6-4-3
5-3-2 Last 10 3-6-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Cam Atkinson
Eric Robinson Alexandre Texier Kevin Stenlund
Max Domi Riley Nash Emil Bemstrom
Seth Jones
Gabriel Carlsson David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov Michael Del Zotto
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Florida Panthers
Frank Vatrano Aleksander Barkov Carter Verhaeghe
Jonathan Huberdeau Alexander Wennberg Patric Hornqvist
Juho Lammikko Noel Acciari Ryan Lomberg
Mason Marchment Eetu Luostarinen Vinnie Hinostroza
Mackenzie Weegar Aaron Ekblad
Keith Yandle Radko Gudas
Riley Stillman Gustav Forsling
Sergei Bobrovsky
Chris Driedger