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Game #61 Preview: Blue Jackets travel to Ottawa

Here’s what you need to know

Ottawa Senators v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 7:30 EDT
Canadian Tire Centre - Ottawa, Ontario
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Silver Seven

Columbus Blue Jackets (30-27-3, 63 points, 5th Metro, 9th East)

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Ottawa Senators (21-33-5, 47 points, 7th Atlantic, 14th East)

The Blue Jackets are taking a quick one game road trip today before returning home tomorrow to host the Capitals. They seek revenge for an ugly 2-1 loss to these Senators in Nationwide on January 23.

Player to Watch

Anton Forsberg

Remember him? A seventh round pick by Columbus in 2011, he was the starting goaltender when the Monsters won the Calder Cup in 2016 (replacing Joonas Korpisalo halfway through those playoffs). In 10 appearances with the Jackets, however, he had a 1-8-0 record, 4.02 GAA and .879 save percentage over three seasons from 2014-2017. Korpisalo had looked better at the NHL level, so he was retained as the backup from 2017 on, while Forsberg was sent to Chicago as part of the Panarin trade. After an unimpressive season in Chicago, he spent the entire 2018-19 season in the AHL, then was traded to Carolina. He was waived three times last season as teams filled in their taxi squads before finally landing in Ottawa.

Despite that undistinguished history, he has had a breakout season as a 29 year old. He has a 13-11-2 record in 29 appearances, with a 2.83 GAA and .916 save percentage. If Ottawa were to trade him this week, he would certainly fetch a higher return than Columbus would get for Korpisalo. What interesting times we live in!

None of this is to say it was a mistake to trade him away, but it’s nice to see him finally get a chance to start and thrive. Maybe he’ll be retained and get to settle in some place for once. He was the starter in that first game against Columbus, in which he allowed just a single goal in 36 shots faced.

Jackets Notes

Great news on the injury front, as Jake Voracek, Justin Danforth, and Adam Boqvist were all full participants in practice. Look for Voracek and Danforth to return to the lineup. It’s not clear if Boqvist will be good to go, and if the practice line of Carlsson/Boqvist will be retained or if he’d play with Kukan in place of Bayreuther ... Former Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno played his 1000th NHL game last night in Chicago. He and his father, Mike, join Bobby and Brett Hull as the only father-son pair each with 1000 games. The Bruins will honor Fligs’ accomplishment before the home game on April 2 — when they host the Jackets. Can’t wait to tune in for that one.

The Other Bench

In an inexplicable quirk of league scheduling, the only game on Monday was a Sickos matchup: Arizona at Ottawa. The Coyotes won 5-3 despite being outshot 15-43 ... Forward Drake Batherson is out with a dreaded high ankle sprain. Goaltender Matt Murray was placed on the IR with a neck injury, one day after giving up eight goals to the Coyotes.

Season Series

01/23/2022 OTT 2 @ CBJ 1
03/16/2022 CBJ @ OTT
04/22/2022 OTT @ CBJ

Stats

Ottawa Columbus
2.64 (26) GPG 3.25 (9)
3.27 (23) GAPG 3.67 (30)
18.3% (24) PP% 18.3% (24)
79.8% (16) PK% 79.2% (17)
47.5% (23) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.9% (26)
48.0% (21) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.2% (29)
7.9 (17) 5v5 Shooting % 9.4 (6)
.914 (20) 5v5 Save % .906 (30)
Josh Norris, 24 G Leader Boone Jenner and Patrik Laine, 23
Thomas Chabot, 27 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 40
Brady Tkachuk, 44 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 45
Brady Tkachuk, 96 PIM Leader Sean Kuraly, 47
11-18-2 Home / Road 13-15-0
3-7-0 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Jack Roslovic Patrik Laine
Max Domi Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Jake Voracek Sean Kuraly Yegor Chinakhov
Eric Robinson Justin Danforth Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski Andrew Peeke
Vladislav Gavrikov Jake Bean
Gavin Bayreuther Adam Boqvist
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Ottawa Senators
Brady Tkachuk Josh Norris Connor Brown
Alex Formenton Tim Stutzle Tyler Ennnis
Nick Paul Colin White Zach Sanford
Parker Kelly Dylan Campbell Austin Watson
Thomas Chabot Artem Zub
Nick Holden Nikita Zaitsev
Erik Brannstrom Josh Brown
Anton Forsberg
Filip Gustavsson