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Game #44 Preview/Gamethread: Jackets look to shake off rust against Capitals tonight

Let’s hit the ground running.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 7:00 EST
Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
TV: Bally Sports Ohio/NHL Network - Radio: 97.1 The Fan
Opponent’s Blog: Japers’ Rink

Washington Capitals (59 points, 25-13-9, 4th Metro, 7th East)
at
Columbus Blue Jackets (41 points, 20-22-1, 5th Metro, 10th East)

The Blue Jackets have had well over a week to recover from their last painful loss to the Panthers on January 31, and hopefully can make a better showing tonight in D.C. as they kick off the first game of their five-game away stint. Prior to that game, they were on a little bit of a winning streak for the first time since November, so with the rest and recuperation they’ve been allotted, maybe we’ll be in a better place.

Player to Watch

Elvis Merzlikins

Elvis is starting in net tonight, and I’m sure he’s looking to restore his confidence with a strong showing tonight after being pulled early in an 8-goal game against the Panthers. To be fair, the Panthers made it look easy to score on the Blue Jackets in their last game, no matter who was in net.

Jackets Notes

Emil Bemstrom has been placed on the COVID-19 protocol list as of yesterday. Of note, Trey Fix-Wolansky will be making his NHL debut tonight, and Brendan Gaunce will be making his CBJ debut. Good luck, guys!

The Other Bench

It’s looking like Alex Ovechkin will be in tonight, so we all have that to look forward to. Other characters to be on the lookout for include Tom Wilson, who has four goals and three assists in his last 10 games. Vitek Vanecek, Anthony Mantha, Michal Kempny and T.J. Oshie all remain on the list of injuries/COVID.

Season Series

11/12/21 WSH 4 @ CBJ 3
12/4/22 CBJ 1 @ WSH 3
2/8/22 CBJ @ WSH
3/17/22 WSH @ CBJ