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Preseason Game #2 Preview/Open Thread: Blue Jackets host the Buffalo Sabres

The Jackets are in Columbus for their first home preseason game.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Buffalo Sabres
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. EDT
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: BlueJackets.com; Radio: 97.1 FM and streaming on the Blue Jackets app
Opponent’s Blog: Die By The Blade

Hockey is back at Nationwide! After a months-long hiatus, made longer by a lack of playoff games and seemingly dragged out even further by the seismic shifts among the team’s roster and personnel, the Jackets are finally gearing up to start the 2021-22 season.

The Jackets had a great start to their preseason last night in a 3-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins’ top talent was not playing, as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are both out with injuries. In any case, the Jackets talent, new and old, was able to shine last night. Yegor Chinakhov and Adam Boqvist scored the first two goals, with Emil Bemstrom sealing the deal on an empty netter, marking a resounding 3-0 win.

More of that tonight, please!

Player(s) To Watch

Sean Kuraly/Jake Bean

Two of the most highly-anticipated acquisitions to the squad are launching their stint with the CBJ tonight at home, so it will be interesting to watch them play. Tonight’s roster is a great mix of old CBJ talent, new young players, and new-to-the-team acquisitions. If all goes well, both Kuraly and Bean should be expected to have a strong start against the struggling Sabres.

Jackets Notes

Sean Kuraly and Jake Bean both make their debuts with the Blue Jackets tonight, elevating the roster to a higher level of experience. Elvis Merzlikins is also on the roster with Jet Greaves, so he’ll probably get his feet wet as well. OSU note - Carson Meyer is rostered tonight! I hope he sees some decent playing time. The last time I saw him play in person was in the Schott wearing scarlet and gray, so this is an exciting next step for him.

The Other Bench

It’s no secret that the Sabres have had an offseason fraught with drama. In March of this year, the Buffalo News intentionally ranked the Sabres 32nd in a 31-team league. Ouch! I hope for their sake that this is a better year for them, mostly because I don’t know how it could go further downhill.

The Sabres currently have two veteran goalies vying for the starting slot - Craig Anderson and Aaron Dell, both of whom will be listed on their opening night’s roster. Besides them, the bulk of the roster is mainly young players and new talent - hopefully a fresh start for this floundering team.

Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Forwards

7 Sean Kuraly
11 Kevin Stenlund
18 Tyler Sikura
28 Oliver Bjorkstrand
39 Tyler Angle
49 Cole Fonstad
50 Eric Robinson
55 Carson Meyer
57 Zach Jordan
73 James Malatesta
84 Peter Reynolds
96 Jack Roslovic

Defensemen

2 Andrew Peeke
5 Gavin Bayreuther
22 Jake Bean
44 Vladislav Gavrikov
68 Cole Clayton
75 Tim Berni

Goaltenders

60 Jet Greaves
90 Elvis Merzlikins

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Anders Bjork
Zemgus Girgensons
Vinnie Hinostroza
J-J Peterka
Dylan Cozens
Jack Quinn
Brett Murray
Arttu Ruotsalainen
John Hayden
Linus Weissbach
Michael Mersch
Ryan MacInnis

Defensemen

Jacob Bryson
Oskari Laaksonen
Will Butcher
Ethan Prow
Brandon Davidson
Casey Fitzgerald

Goaltenders

Aaron Dell
Dustin Tokarski