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Game #28 Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets put winning streak on the line as they visit Florida Panthers

Here’s what you need to know.

Florida Panthers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Florida Panthers
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 7:00 PM ET
FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, FL
TV: ESPN+/Hulu - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Litter Box Cats

Columbus Blue Jackets, 10-15-2, 22 points, 8th Metro, 16th East
@
Florida Panthers, 13-12-4, 30 points, 5th Atlantic, 11th East

The Columbus Blue Jackets, riding consecutive wins for the first time in nearly a month, head south to warmer climates to take on the Florida Panthers tonight. The Jackets responded from their most embarrassing outing of the season with four points over the weekend and will look to keep that going against a limping Panthers squad.

The Panthers, who won last year’s President’s Trophy, have limped out of the gate this year - the team is three points out of a wild card spot and fifth in the Atlantic Division, looking up at the Detroit Red Wings. Florida will be desperate in this game, coming in having dropped two straight games to Tampa Bay and Seattle. The Panthers are talented at forward and can make the Jackets pay for mistakes. Columbus will have its hands full if it wants to keep its winning streak alive.

Player to Watch

Matthew Tkachuk

Generally we save this space for Blue Jackets, but we’ll make an exception today. Tkachuk, Gaudreau’s former teammate in Calgary, made waves this past offseason when (weeks after Gaudreau’s departure in free agency) Tkachuk made it clear he would not sign a long-term deal in Calgary when his contract expired, all but requesting a trade out of town. Matthew Tkachuk was subsequently traded to the Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar and promptly signed a 8 year, $76,000,000 contract with the Calgary Flames on July 22, 2022. Tkachuk, a 104 point player last year, is supremely talented but also has a reputation as a dirty player - he was suspended earlier this year for deliberately shoving his stick into the mask of LA’s Jonathan Quick. Tkachuk will command attention every shift he is on the ice for the Panthers.

Jackets Notes

The Blue Jackets recalled Daniil Tarasov and assigned Jet Greaves to Cleveland on Monday ... Tarasov is 2-3-1 with a 3.17 GAA and a .912 SV% in seven games for Columbus this year ... Patrik Laine has six goals in six games since his return from injury ... Johnny Gaudreau has 4-12-16 in his last 10 games ... Boone Jenner has 9-8-17 in his last 17 games ... Jack Roslovic’s four point night on Sunday was the 49th time that has happened in franchise history, according to Jeff Svoboda of bluejackets.com

The Other Bench

Eric Staal’s first goal as a member of the Panthers was his 442nd in the NHL, fifth among active players ... Staal has collected a point in five of his last six games ... Tkachuk, in his first year in Florida, has 13-24-37 with 2-3-5 in his last 5 games ... Spencer Knight is seriously outperforming Sergei Bobrovsky this season - Knight is 8-4-3 with a 2.64 GAA and a .919 SV% while Bobrovsky is 5-8-1 with a 3.58 GAA and an .884 SV%

Season Series

11/20/2022 FLA 3 @ CBJ 5
12/13/2022 CBJ @ FLA
04/01/2023 FLA @ CBJ

Stats

Florida Columbus
3.34 (11) GPG 2.96 (24)
3.34 (21) GAPG 4.07 (31)
19.3% (26) PP% 14.7% (32)
77.7% (18) PK% 77.5% (19)
55.46% (3) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.07% (29)
54.69% (3) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.02% (29)
8.39 (18) 5v5 Shooting % 9.25 (7)
.9136 (20) 5v5 Save % .8935 (32)
Carter Verhaeghe, 15 G Leader Boone Jenner and Johnny Gaudreau, 10
Matthew Tkachuk, 24 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 21
Matthew Tkachuk, 37 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 31
Matthew Tkachuk, 41 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 41
7-3-3 Home / Road 2-5-1
4-4-2 Last 10 4-5-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Boone Jenner Johnny Gaudreau
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Yegor Chinakhkov
Kent Johnson Cole Sillinger Kirill Marchenko
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Vladislav Gavrikov Marcus Bjork
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Jake Christiansen Andrew Peeke
Elvis Merzlikins
Daniil Tarasov
Florida Panthers
Carter Verhaeghe Aleksander Barkov Sam Reinhart
Eetu Luostarinen Sam Bennett Matthew Tkachuk
Nick Cousins Eric Staal Colin White
Ryan Lomberg Chris Tierney Zac Dalpe
Gustav Forsling Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura Matt Kiersted
Spencer Knight
Sergei Bobrovsky