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Game #46 Preview/GameThread: Columbus Blue Jackets play host to visiting San Jose Sharks in last home game before road trip

Here’s what you need to know.

NHL: APR 19 Blue Jackets at Sharks Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

San Jose Sharks at Columbus Blue Jackets
Saturday, January 21, 2023 - 7:00 PM ET
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Bally’s Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Fear the Fin

San Jose Sharks, 14-23-9, 37 points, 7th Pacific, 13th West
@
Columbus Blue Jackets, 13-30-2, 28 points, 8th Metro, 16th East

For the Columbus Blue Jackets, this is a lost season that could have a monstrous payoff at the end of it. Understanding that, the team should have one goal - make the suffering worth it. Columbus plays host to another also-ran tonight- the San Jose Sharks, currently 13th in the Western Conference. Keeping their separation at the bottom of the standings, and maintaining their advantage in the lottery, should be paramount tonight.

Very unlikely that the coaching staff feels similarly, however. On the heels of yet another collapse (following a first period lead, no less, as those are increasingly rare), Brad Larsen juggled lines yet again. Xylophonists might have more success picking lineups at this point over Brad Larsen, however.

Player to Watch

Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson has had an outstanding season with the San Jose Sharks, bouncing back to his Norris form in a big way. Karlsson has 62 points in 46 games (15 goals and 47 assists) and has looked every bit the defenseman that he used to be for the Ottawa Senators. At the height of his powers, few players were better at transition play and setting up scoring chances than Karlsson. Now, he looks to have regained that form for the time being, which puts the shaky Columbus defense on its back heels. Containing Karlsson is paramount to a Columbus victory.

Jackets Notes

Daniil Tarasov was returned to the Cleveland Monsters as Joonas Korpisalo returned to the team ... Tarasov is 2-9-1 with a 3.28 goals against and a .908 save percentage this season ... Jack Roslovic has five points (1-4-5) in his current four game point streak ... Columbus is 0-15 on the power play in its last seven games

The Other Bench

The Sharks broke a three game losing streak on Thursday night as they triumphed over the Dallas Stars ... This is the first of an eight game road trip for the Sharks ... the Sharks made a trade on Wednesday, trading Jasper Weatherby to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for 30-year-old forward Kyle Criscuolo

Season Series

01/21/2023 SJS @ CBJ
03/14/2023 CBJ @ SJS

Stats

San Jose Columbus
3.07 (22) GPG 2.51 (30)
3.70 (29) GAPG 3.91 (30)
20.6% (21) PP% 14.3% (32)
84.2% (3) PK% 77.2% (18)
49.24% (21) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.28% (29)
49.36% (21) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.15% (29)
9.53% (3) 5v5 Shooting % 7.78% (25)
.892 (32) 5v5 Save % .902 (30)
Timo Meier, 26 G Leader P. Laine & J. Gaudreau, 12
Erik Karlsson, 47 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 30
Erik Karlsson, 62 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 41
Jonah Gadjovich, 42 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 56
9-11-2 Home / Road 10-15-1
3-4-3 Last 10 2-8-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau Boone Jenner Kirill Marchenko
Gustav Nyquist Jack Roslovic Patrik Laine
Kent Johnson Cole Sillinger Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Vladislav Gavrikov Adam Boqist
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Nick Blankenburg Andrew Peeke
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins

San Jose Sharks

Timo Meier Tomas Hertl Michael Eyssimont
Matthew Nieto Logan Couture Alexander Barbanov
Nick Bonino Nico Sturm Noah Gregor
Oskar Lindblom Steven Lorentz Jonah Gadjovich
Jaycob Megna Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic Matt Benning
Mario Ferraro Scott Harrington
Kaapo Kahkonen
James Reimer