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Game 80 Preview - Jackets start tough final stretch in Tampa

Home-and-home versus familiar foe starts on the road

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 7:00PM ET
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
TV: Bally Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 The Fan
Opponent’s Blog: Raw Charge

Columbus Blue Jackets (36-36-7, 79 points, 6th Metropolitan, 10th East)
at
Tampa Bay Lightning (49-22-8, 106 points, 3rd Atlantic, 5th East)

The Bolts and Jackets enter tonight locked in opposite destinies. The Blue Jackets have been on top of the Eastern have-nots for most of the year, and are now guaranteed to finish either ninth or tenth in the conference. The Lightning, coming off back-to-back Stanley Cups, are more than likely to finish third in the Atlantic, setting up a first round matchup versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, who they beat 8-1 on Thursday.

While normally this would set up for a potential let down game for Tampa, the rivalry aspect, plus the fact we just beat Edmonton, will probably cause the Lightning to go into this on full charge.

Player to Watch - Jack Roslovic

With the prolonged absence of Boone Jenner, Jack Roslovic was thrust into the 1C role, and has filled in more than admirably. In his last seven games, he’s put up a 9-2-11 point spread, scoring over 40% of his goals on the season in under 10% of his games, and has just been a force to be reckoned with. In summary: He’s red hot. Look for the Ohio native to contribute if the Jackets have any chance to beat the champs.

Jackets Notes

To be honest, it might be a good thing the season’s about to end. Zach Werenski, Patrik Laine, and Adam Boqvist all recently joined the injured list, joining long-time occupants Boone Jenner, Alexandre Texier, and Joonas Korpisalo. That being said, these are the last three CBJ games until October, over five months from now. Savor them while you can.

It’s also worth noting that this is game #80 for the CBJ, matching the jersey number of Matiss Kivlenieks. The former goaltender passed away in July, and had a profound impact on this team in just a few games played. I’m not sure if any of the player will realize the correlation, but it’s worth pointing out.

The Other Bench

It’s the Tampa Bay Lightning. The two-time Cup Champs, infinite starpower, arguably-best-goalie-in-the-world-having Tampa Bay Lightning. They come into this matchup... third in the Atlantic? And they still have 106 points? Jesus the East is scary this year.

Season Series

1/4/22 - Tampa Bay 7 @ Columbus 2
4/26/22 - Columbus @ Tampa Bay
4/28/22 - Tampa Bay @ Columbus

Stats

Tampa Bay Columbus
3.46 (7) GPG 3.15 (14)
2.76 (6) GAPG 3.62 (29)
23.3% (10) PP% 17.8% (24)
81.1% (12) PK% 78.8% (20)
51.2% (11) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.5% (23)
51.5% (11) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.6% (25)
9.5% (3) 5v5 Shot % 9.2% (7)
.919 (13) 5v5 Save % .909 (25)
Steven Stamkos, 37 G Leader Patrik Laine, 26
Victor Hedman, 61 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 54
Steven Stamkos, 97 P Leader Jakub Voracek, 59
Pat Maroon, 130 PIM Leader Sean Kuraly, 61
26-8-6 Home / Road 16-21-2
6-3-1 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lines

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gustav Nyquist Jack Roslovic Jakub Voracek
Kent Johnson Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Carson Meyer
Yegor Chinakhov Justin Danforth Emil Bemstrom
Vladislav Gavrikov Nick Blankenburg
Jake Bean Andrew Peeke
Dean Kukan Gabriel Carlsson
Elvis Merzlikins
JF Berube

Tampa Bay Lightning

Ondrej Palat Steven Stamkos Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel Brayden Point Alex Killorn
Pat Maroon Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Zach Bogosian
Ross Colton Nick Paul Corey Perry
Victor Hedman Erik Cernak
Ryan McDonagh Cal Foote
Mikhail Sergachev Jan Rutta
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Brian Elliott