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Preview/Gamethread #66: CBJ in for a Wild night in Minnesota

The last W over the Wild wasn’t easy and tonight’s game won’t be any easier.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, March 26, 2022 - 8:00 EDT
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, Minnesota
TV: ESPN+/Hulu; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Hockey Wilderness

Columbus Blue Jackets (32-29-4, 68 points, 5th Metro, 9th East)

at

Minnesota Wild (38-20-4, 80 points, 2nd Central, 3rd West)

Whew! Quick turnaround from last night’s OT loss in Winnipeg - the Jackets are back in the States to take on a wily Minnesota team, and based on their last matchup on March 11, it could get ugly quickly.

Player to Watch

Marcus Foligno

The final few moments of the Jackets/Wild last matchup were melodramatic, as Marcus Foligno delivered a sharp knee hit to Jakub Voracek, sending him limping down the tunnel in the last minutes of overtime. The Jackets came out victorious in an overtime that led to a shootout, and fortunately Jake wasn’t seriously injured - but the Jackets should be careful not to bite off more than they can chew in getting physical with a team that has proven they’re happy to be physical right back.

Despite Larsen’s wise words here, I have to imagine it’ll get chippy pretty quickly. Clearly, the love the CBJ extends to Nick Foligno absolutely does not stretch so far as to include his brother. We’ll see how it goes tonight!

Jackets Notes

Merzlikins is in net again tonight ... After scoring his 11th goal of the season last night, Adam Boqvist will be swapped out for Gabriel Carlsson tonight, as they’re managing his ice time during his return to playing ... Jet Greaves had his first professional shutout last night in a Monsters game with 31 saves in a 1-0 win over Charlotte ... Gavin Bayreuther is the other healthy scratch tonight.

The Other Bench

Fleury will be making his Minnesota Wild debut tonight in net against the Blue Jackets, so that’ll be a familiar foe for those looking to score on him. The Wild are on a four-game winning streak, so we have that going against us.

Season Series

3/11/2022 MIN 2 @ CBJ 3
3/26/2022 CBJ @ MIN

Stats

Minnesota Columbus
3.65 (4) GPG 3.23 (12)
3.13 (19) GAPG 3.71 (31)
19.4% (21) PP% 19.4% (20)
76.1% (22) PK% 77.8% (20)
51.7% (11) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.1% (25)
51.4% (11) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.4% (28)
9.9% (1) 5v5 Shooting % 9.3 (6)
.915 (19) 5v5 Save % .907 (30)
Kirill Kaprizov, 33 G Leader Patrik Laine, 25
Kirill Kaprizov, 45 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 43
Kirill Kaprizov, 78 P Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 49
Marcus Foligno, 105 PIM Leader Sean Kuraly, 53
21-7-1 Home / Road 14-16-1
6-3-1 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Jack Roslovic Patrik Laine
Jake Voracek Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Justin Danforth
Emil Bemstrom Brendan Gaunce Yegor Chinakhov
Zach Werenski Andrew Peeke
Vladislav Gavrikov Jake Bean
Dean Kukan Gabriel Carlsson
Elvis Merzlikins
J.F. Berube
Minnesota Wild
Kirill Kaprizov Ryan Hartman Mats Zuccarello
Kevin Fiala Frederick Gaudreau Matthew Boldy
Jordan Greenway Joel Eriksson Ek Marcus Foligno
Brandon Duhaime Tyson Jost Nicolas Deslauriers
Jacob Middleton Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin Mathew Dumba
Alex Goligoski Dmitry Kulikov
Marc-Andre Fleury
Cam Talbot