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Game #78 Preview/Gamethread: Senators in Columbus

I just hope both teams have fun.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Friday, April 22, 2022 - 7:00 ET
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Silver Seven

Ottawa Senators (29-41-7, 65 points, 7th Atlantic, 13th East)
Columbus Blue Jackets (35-36-6, 76 points, 6th Metro, 10th East)

After suffering a clean and pointless sweep in California, the Blue Jackets are back in Columbus for their third-to-last home game of the season. A long list of Blue Jackets will be missing at least this game, if not the rest of the rest of the season:

Player to Watch

Elvis Merzlikins

Elvis was granted a rare night off on Tuesday in San Jose, so he’ll be extra fresh tonight against the Senators. The Jackets attributed their three California losses not to playing bad hockey, but to making too many big, unfixable mistakes. The games were all close - in the final minute of each game, the Jackets were only down by one, but the Jackets can’t always be a comeback team. Anyways, all that to say that I’m excited to see Elvis at home tonight (where I feel he always has an extra burst of flair and energy playing in front of his home crowd) and I’m hoping the Jackets aren’t felled by silly mistakes.

Jackets Notes

Yegor Chinakhov returned to practice this week from an upper body injury but is still not in tonight’s lineup ... Gabriel Carlsson is in for Werenski ... Werenski, Jenner, and Laine are all out tonight, giving the greener members of the group an opportunity to step up ... today is my favorite NWA usher’s birthday, so if you see Larry outside of the Lexus Lounge, wish him a happy birthday!!

The Other Bench

The Senators sank their season by starting it 4-15-1, so I’ll return to my article subhead here and just say I hope both teams have fun. Much like the Jackets, the Senators are also relying on the talent of a very young squad to pull them forward. The Senators’ top four scorers are Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle, Joshua Norris, and Drake Batherson, a group whose median age is 22.

Season Series

1/23/22 OTT 2 @ CBJ 1
3/16/22 CBJ 4 @ OTT
4/22/22 OTT @ CBJ