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Game #42 Preview/GameThread: Blue Jackets head north of the border to visit Canadiens in attendance-restricted Bell Center

Here’s what you need to know.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens
Sunday, January 30, 2022 - 7:00 PM EDT
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
TV: Ballys Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Habs Eyes On The Prize

Columbus Blue Jackets,
@
Montreal Canadiens

The Columbus Blue Jackets will be in the Bell Centre on Sunday night to take on the Montreal Canadiens, but there will not be any fans in the building to witness it. Due to the COVID restrictions in the Quebec province, the Blue Jackets will be playing a game without fans - an eerie throwback to a time earlier in the pandemic.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are coming into the game following a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night in Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets were outplayed and outshot for large portions of the evening, but buoyed by four points from Boone Jenner and three from Zach Werenski, the team overcame an early 2-0 hole to get the two points. The team is struggling for consistency right now, and finding a second straight win against a struggling opponent would help them to build upon Thursday’s win.

The Montreal Canadiens come into the game as arguably the worst, and certainly the most disappointing, team in the NHL. Fresh off of a miracle run to the Stanley Cup Final last summer, the team is in complete collapse - the Canadiens, without Shea Weber and Carey Price, are just 8-27-7 this season. The Canadiens sit last in the NHL with 23 points through 42 games, a .274 points percentage, and a -65 goal differential.

This is a game that the Blue Jackets, as poor and inconsistent as they’ve been over the last two months, should win. It remains to be seen if they will.

Side note: go Rams, beat the Niners.

Player to Watch

Yegor Chinakhov

Among Blue Jackets players with more than 300 minutes at 5v5 this season, Chinakhov ranks last among forwards in total points per 60, last in points, second to last in ixG (ahead of only Patrik Laine, who has played ten fewer games) and second to last in iSCF (one ahead of Max Domi). Chinakhov, despite a solid KHL season last year, has struggled to adjust to the North American game in his rookie season. Chinakhov has 4-3-7 in 32 games this year with a -15 and is playing just 12:19 per night. He’s going against one of the worst teams in the NHL this season tonight, so it would be nice to see him take advantage of some opportunities and create something to build on going forward.

Jackets Notes

Boone Jenner now has 18 goals on the season, and has 6-4-10 in his last nine games … Jenner’s 18 goals tie his second-best goal total in a single season … Zach Werenski had his first three point night of the season on Thursday with his three assists in the win over the Rangers … Gustav Nyquist has seven goals in his last 14 games

The Other Bench

Kent Hughes, former player agent for guys like Patrice Bergeron, was hired as GM of the Montreal Canadiens after the departure of Marc Bergevin ... The Canadiens are 2-22-4 when they allow the first goal ... Sam Montembeault returned to the Canadiens this week after missing a couple games with an upper body injury ... Jake Evans scored two goals for the Canadiens on Thursday night, the first of which was a highlight goal erased minutes later by Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras’ Michigan goal

Season Series

01/30/2022 CBJ @ MTL
02/12/2022 CBJ @ MTL
04/13/2022 MTL @ CBJ

Stats

Montreal Columbus
2.21 (32) GPG 3.00 (16)
3.79 (32) GAPG 3.59 (30)
12.7% (32) PP% 15.5% (28)
72.6% (30) PK% 79.8% (18)
46.87% (26) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.38% (23)
45.68% (29) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.27% (28)
6.73% (31) 5v5 Shot % 8.98% (8)
.916 (23) 5v5 Save % .908 (29)
Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson, 8 G Leader Boone Jenner, 18
Nick Suzuki, 16 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 26
Nick Suzuki, 24 P Leader Boone Jenner, 30
Michael Pezzetta, 51 PIM Leader Andrew Peeke, 26
5-11-1 Home / Road 7-12-0
1-6-3 Last 10 4-6-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gustav Nyquist Boone Jenner Patrik Laine
Max Domi Cole Sillinger Oliver Bjorkstrand
Jakub Voracek Jack Roslovic Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Yegor Chinakhov
Zach Werenski Andrew Peeke
Vladislav Gavrikov Dean Kukan
Jake Bean Adam Boqvist
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo

Montreal Canadiens

Artturi Lehkonen Nick Suzuki Tyler Toffoli
Laurent Dauphin Ryan Poehling Mike Hoffman
Rem Pitlick Jake Evans Josh Anderson
Michael Pezzetta Lukas Vejdemo Cedric Paquette
Ben Chiarot David Savard
Brett Kulak Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov Chris Wideman
Samuel Montembeault
Cayden Primeau