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Game #55 Preview: Blue Jackets and Red Wings run out the clock

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Here’s what you need to know

Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Friday, May 7, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Winging It In Motown

Detroit Red Wings (18-27-9, 45 points, 8th Central)

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Columbus Blue Jackets (17-25-12, 46 points, 7th Central)

Well, we’ve finally reached the end of the season. It was a 56 game sprint, yet at times felt interminable as the Blue Jackets fell short of expectations, produced boring hockey on the ice, and provided unnecessary drama off of it. It’s fitting that the season ends against the Red Wings in a battle to finish in seventh place in the Central. Buffalo has clinched the worst record, but a sweep this weekend can drop one of these teams into the bottom three along with Anaheim.

At least the Jackets aren’t going down without a fight. They’ve earned points in their last five games.

Player to Watch

Oliver BJORKSTRAND

In a terrible year where everyone on the team struggled, the one exception was The Maestro. He produced no matter who he was paired up with and never went more than three games without recording a point. He has already passed his career high for points in a season, and did so in just 54 games. He is three away from his career high in goals and four away from his career high in assists. He could plausibly hit those marks with a couple more games like his three point effort on Wednesday against the Predators.

Jackets Notes

Matiss Kivlenieks will start one of the games in goal ... Andrew Peeke will also return to the lineup at some point ... Alexandre Texier remains day-to-day with a lower body injury ... If the Blue Jackets lose either game, it will mark the first time in franchise history that they failed to record a three game winning streak.

The Other Bench

The Red Wings were already not an imposing opponent and are even less so now with injuries to most of their key players: Tyler Bertuzzi, Bobby Ryan, Robby Fabbri, and Dylan Larkin are all out for the remainder of the season.

Season Series

01/18/2021 CBJ 3 @ DET 2
01/19/2021 CBJ 2 @ DET 3 (OT)
03/02/2021 DET 1 @ CBJ 4
03/27/2021 CBJ 1 @ DET 3
03/28/2021 CBJ 1 @ DET 4
04/27/2021 DET 0 @ CBJ 1 (SO)
05/07/2021 DET @ CBJ
05/08/2021 DET @ CBJ

Stats

Detroit Columbus
2.15 (31) GPG 2.35 (29)
2.98 (20) GAPG 3.24 (24)
10.3% (30) PP% 15.5% (27)
78.6% (21) PK% 80.0% (16)
45.2% (31) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.4% (28)
45.1% (31) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.9% (26)
7.3 (29) 5v5 Shot % 7.1 (30)
.922 (12) 5v5 Save % .912 (26)
Adam Erne, 11 G Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 17
Filip Hronek, 21 A Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 25
Dylan Larkin and Filip Hronek, 23 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 42
Dylan Larkin, 34 PIM Leader Max "Madman" Domi, 73
6-16-4 Home / Road 10-8-8
3-4-3 Last 10 2-5-3

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Oliver BJORKSTRAND Max Domi Cam Atkinson
Mikhail Grigorenko Jack Roslovic Emil Bemstrom
Liam Foudy Kevin Stenlund Patrik Laine
Nathan Gerbe Ryan MacInnis Eric Robinson
Michael Del Zotto Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov Mikko Lehtonen
Gavin Bayreuther Dean Kukan
Elvis Merzlikins
Matiss Kivlenieks
Detroit Red Wings
Jakub Vrana Michael Rasmussen Valtteri Filppula
Adam Erne Vladislav Namestnikov Filip Zadina
Evgeny Svechnikov Joe Veleno Sam Gagner
Darren Helm Luke Glendening Richard Panik
Dennis Cholowski Filip Hronek
Marc Staal Alex Biega
Dan Dekeyser Gustav Lindstrom
Thomas Greiss
Jonathan Bernier