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Game #32 Preview: Jackets visit Devils as Voracek hits 1000

Here’s what you need to know

Columbus Blue Jackets v New Jersey Devils Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Thursday, January 6, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Prudential Center - Newark, New Jersey
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: All About the Jersey

Columbus Blue Jackets (15-15-1, 31 points, 6th Metro, 11th East)

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New Jersey Devils (13-16-5, 31 points, 7th Metro, 12th East)

The Blue Jackets have surrendered seven goals in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. Is this because they were missing key players, or because they were playing two of the best teams in the league? We get a chance to answer that question tonight as they travel to New Jersey to face another rebuilding team that is also missing multiple important players. Both teams have had atrocious goaltending, so look for a high scoring game.

Player to Watch

Jakub Voracek

Tonight, Voracek will play in his 1000th NHL game. It’s quite an accomplishment for any player, as it speaks to both their durability as well as the talent to remain on an NHL roster for over a decade. Voracek will join Rick Nash as the only Blue Jacket draftees to reach this mark. It’s pretty cool to see Voracek achieve this while once again playing for the franchise. He’s the second oldest player on the roster but leads the team in assists and points. He’s in his 14th season and is on pace for one of the three best assist seasons of his career.

Jackets Notes

Liam Foudy and Jake Christiansen were added to the taxi squad, while Cam Johnson was assigned from the taxi squad to the Monsters ... Jake Bean will return to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with an illness. Alexandre Texier (illness) and Elvis Merzlikins (lower body) did not practice on Wednesday and appear unlikely to play ... Cole Sillinger missed practice for a “maintenance day” so I am taking that as a sign he’ll play today, and based on the practice lines he’ll take Foudy’s place between Voracek and Oliver BJORKSTRAND ... Gus Nyquist has had back-to-back two-point games. Can he make it three in a row?

The Other Bench

The Devils won three games in a row coming out of the Christmas/COVID break before losing on Tuesday to Boston ... The Devils are missing a lot of major players. Dougie Hamilton blocked a shot with his face and required surgery to repair a broken jaw. Nico Hischier is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Yegor Sharangovich and Pavel Zacha are in the COVID protocol and will miss both games against Columbus this week ... Our New Jersey blog is feeling good about the defensive pair of Severson and Siegenthaler. Their possession numbers are good, and they’ll get a lot of shifts against the Laine line, which has been getting well out-chanced itself.

Season Series

10/31/2021 CBJ 4 @ NJD 3 (SO)
01/06/2022 CBJ @ NJD
01/08/2022 NJD @ CBJ
03/01/2022 NJD @ CBJ

Stats

New Jersey Columbus
2.88 (19) GPG 3.16 (12)
3.44 (26) GAPG 3.58 (28)
14.3% (29) PP% 16.5% (26)
81.3% (13) PK% 76.5% (25)
51.1% (14) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.5% (24)
50.7% (13) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.3% (29)
7.7 (20) 5v5 Shooting % 9.3 (5)
.902 (31) 5v5 Save % .909 (27)
Andreas Johnsson, Pavel Zacha, Jesper Bratt, and Dawson Mercer, 9 G Leader Boone Jenner, 12
Jesper Bratt, 21 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 22
Jesper Bratt, 30 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND and Jakub Voracek, 23
Mason Geertsen, 43 PIM Leader Andrew Peeke, 26
8-7-3 Home / Road 5-10-0
3-7-0 Last 10 3-6-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Gus Nyquist
Jakub Voracek Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Yegor Chinakhov Sean Kuraly Max Domi
Eric Robinson Jack Roslovic Emil Bemstrom
Vladislav Gavrikov Jake Bean
Dean Kukan Adam Boqvist
Jake Christiansen Andrew Peeke
Joonas Korpisalo
Jean-Francois Berube
New Jersey Devils
Tomas Tatar Jack Hughes Jesper Bratt
Andreas Johnsson Dawson Mercer Janne Kuokkanen
Marian Studenic Michael McLeod Nathan Bastian
Mason Geertsen Jesper Boqvist Alexander Holtz
Jonas Siegenthaler Damon Severson
Ryan Graves P.K. Subban
Ty Smith Christian Jaros
Mackenzie Blackwood
Jon Gilies