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Game #49 Preview: Jackets stumble into Tampa to take on Savard and the Lightning

Here's what you need to know

Columbus Blue Jackets v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Raw Charge

Columbus Blue Jackets (15-24-9, 39 points, 8th Central)

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Tampa Bay Lightning (30-14-2, 62 points, 3rd Central)

With an overall record of 3-2-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets would love to find some life in this one. Having gone 0-5-1 since the last time these teams met, the tank seems to be out in full force in Columbus. Can the Jackets find some life against a team they’ve had some success against?

The next two games mark the only two times the Blue Jackets will face a player they traded away at the deadline. In his first five games with the Lightning, David Savard has recorded 0 points and a GF% of 29. He started out on the first pairing with Victor Hedman, but has since been demoted to the second pairing. It’ll be interesting to see how the physical defenseman will play against his former team.

Player to Watch
Max Domi

Outside of Savard, the biggest storyline in this one may be Tortorella’s reaction to Domi’s altercations on the ice in Dallas. Did the punishment fit the crime? Regardless, Max is relied upon to contribute offensively to a team that’s struggled to score goals this season. Assuming he cracks the lineup, how much ice time will he get and how will he be deployed? He has two goals and four assists in 6 games, including a GWG, against the Lightning this season and will likely come out trying to prove a point.

Jackets Notes

We may be better off throwing darts than trying to guess the line combinations and defensive pairings going forward. There hasn’t been much to write home about since the deadline and the on-ice performance has been pretty stale. We may not see many wins down the stretch, but it’d be nice to see some life and some chemistry built for next season.

Darren Dreger had an interesting comment about John Tortorella and Blue Jackets last night on NBCSN. He surmised that Torts will become a free agent over the summer. Overall, chatter surrounding the coach’s future in Columbus has been ramping up this week both locally and nationally. This could all make for an intriguing last few weeks.

The Other Bench

At 5-5-0 in their last 10, the Lightning seem to be limping towards the playoffs. Steven Stamkos was injured in Columbus on April 8 and will be out until at least the beginning of May. They’ve fallen to 3rd in the Central and are in danger of not having home ice in the first round. Don’t let not having Stamkos or Kucherov fool you though. This team still has plenty of firepower to light the lamp.

Season Series

01/21/21 TBL 3 @ CBJ 2 (OT)
01/23/21 TBL 2 @ CBJ 5
03/30/21 CBJ 3 @ TBL 1
04/01/21 CBJ 2 @ TBL 3
04/06/21 TBL 2 @ CBJ 4
04/08/21 TBL 6 @ CBJ 4
04/22/21 CBJ @ TBL
04/25/21 CBJ @ TBL

Stats

Tampa Bay Columbus
3.30 (5) GPG 2.40 (28)
2.61 (7) GAPG 3.33 (28)
25.2% (5) PP% 14.3% (28)
82.8% (8) PK% 79.3% (16)
52.1% (9) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.3% (30)
51.9% (8) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.9% (27)
51.6 (8) 5v5 Shot % 47.5 (24)
.925 (7) 5v5 Save % .908 (28)
Brayden Point, 20 G Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 15
Victor Hedman, 34 A Leader BJORKSTRAND & Roslovic, 20
Victor Hedman, 42 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 35
Pat Maroon, 48 PIM Leader Max Domi,67
17-6-0 Home / Road 7-16-2
5-5-0 Last 10 1-8-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Oliver BJORKSTRAND Jack Roslovic Cam Atkinson
Patrik Laine Alexandre Texier Stefan Matteau
Eric Robinson Kevin Stenlund Zac Dalpe
Ryan MacInnnis Josh Dunne Max Domi
Michael Del Zotto Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov Mikko Lehetonen
Dean Kukan Gavin Bayreuther
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo

Tampa Bay Lightning

Ondrej Palat Brayden Point Alex Barre-Boulet
Alex Killorn Anthony Cirelli Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow Yanni Gourde Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon Ross Colton Mathieu Joseph
Victor Hedman Erik Cernak
Ryan McDonagh David Savard
Mikhail Sergachev Luke Schenn
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney