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Game #44 Preview -Jackets and Blackhawks wrap up season series

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All pressure removed as the Jackets play out the string.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Monday, April 12, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Bally’s Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Second City Hockey

Chicago Blackhawks (19-18-5, 43 points, 5th Central)

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Columbus Blue Jackets (15-20-8, 38 points, 7th Central)

The Columbus Blue Jackets wrap up their two game set and season series with the Blackhawks tonight, having lost Saturday night’s game by a final score of 4-3. The Jackets started off strong with a pair of goals in the first three minutes of the game, but fizzled out shortly after, giving up four straight goals. The Blackhawks are only four points behind the Nashville Predators for the final playoff spot in the division, and will look to complete the sweep of the lottery-bound Blue Jackets.

Undoubtedly this one will be weird for the Jackets with so much change in such a short period of time. Considering they’ve had trouble getting up for games when it really mattered, it will be interesting to see if they can match the intensity of a team in the thick of things.

Player to Watch

Patrik Laine

Laine finally broke through and got back on the scoresheet after a 15 games with out a goal. Often a player like him just needs to have something good happen and see the puck in the back of the net to get going. According to Laine’s former (and maybe future?) coach Jukka Jalonen, Patrik’s struggles are “between the ears.” The talent is there, but it’s clear the guy is trying to do too much or at least thinking too much, and as a result isn’t doing much of anything. It will be interesting to see if he can build off his latest bit of success.

That is if he isn’t traded by 3pm ET of course...

Jackets Notes

This past weekend officially marked the end of an era. There are no expectations anymore for this team, and without a captain it will be very interesting to see who steps into leadership roles. Oliver Bjorkstrand has recently mentioned taking on a leadership role, so he’s worth keeping an eye on in that regard. Does Seth Jones assume the role of de facto captain?

We now wait and see what the final roster will look like for the rest of this season and beyond. With Jarmo allegedly listening to offers on names like Max Domi and Patrik Laine, it’ll definitely be a tension filled afternoon with a lot of Twitter refreshing.

The Other Bench

With the Nashville Predators winning yesterday, the Hawks now find themselves four points out of the last spot, so they’ll be looking to keep pace. In just seven games against the Blue Jackets this year, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat have combined for 22 points and have dominated the season series. The Blackhawks have won the previous four matchups against the Jackets.

The Blackhawks have already made one trade prior to the deadline (mostly for the rights to Henrik Borgstrom), but find themselves in a tricky position as to whether or not they should buy or sell. Chances are good its a quiet deadline day for the Blackhawks,

Season Series

Jan 29: CBJ 2 @ CHI 1
Jan 31: CBJ 1 @ CHI 3
Feb 11: CBJ 6 @ CHI 5
Feb 13: CBJ 2 @ CHI 3 (OT)
Feb 23: CHI 6 @ CBJ 5
Feb 25: CHI 2 @ CBJ 0
Apr 10: CHI 4@ CBJ 3
Apr 12: CHI @ CBJ

Stats

Chicago Columbus
2.76 (17) GPG 2.49 (27)
3.10 (20) GAPG 3.21 (24)
24.4% (7) PP% 14.0% (28)
73.3% (30) PK% 78.1% (19)
46.8% (28) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.2% (30)
46.1% (31) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47% (28)
7.3 (25) 5v5 Shot % 7.4 (23)
.910 (14) 5v5 Save % .905 (22)
Alex DeBrincat, 21 G Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 14
Patrick Kane, 38 A Leader Jack Roslovic, 20
Patrick Kane, 52 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 32
Nikita Zadarov, 31 PIM Leader Max Domi, 39
8-10-3 Home / Road 8-8-6
2-7-1 Last 10 5-5

Projected Lineups

*subject to change (as usual)
Columbus Blue Jackets
Oliver BJORKSTRAND Max Domi Patrik Laine
Mikhail Grigorenko Jack Roslovic Cam Atkinson
Eric Robinson Alexandre Texier Zac Dalpe
Stefan Matteau Kevin Stenlund Kole Sherwood
Michael Del Zotto Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov Dean Kukan
Mikko Lehtonen Scott Harrington
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Chicago Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat Kirby Dach Patrick Kane
Mattias Janmark Pius Suter Dylan Strome
Dominik Kubalik Phillipp Kurashev Vinnie Hinostroza
Brandon Hagel David Kampf Ryan Carpenter
Nikita Zadorov Connor Murphy
Duncan Keith Adam Boqvist
Calvin de Haan Wyatt Kalynuk
Kevin Lankinen
Malcolm Subban