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Game 57 Preview: Jackets look to continue their flow in Mullet Arena

Columbus? On a winning streak? Is that allowed?

Arizona Coyotes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Sunday, February 19, 2023 - 8:30 PM Eastern
Mullet Arena - Tempe, Arizona
TV: Bally Sports Ohio, Sportsnet (!?) - Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog - Five for Howling

Columbus Blue Jackets (18-34-4, 40 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)
Arizona Coyotes (19-29-9, 47 points, 7th Central, 13th West)

For the fourth time this season, your Columbus Blue Jackets have won consecutive hockey games. Against the top two teams in the Western Conference, at that! And the two games before that, the Jackets bullied the Leaves into trading for a former Conn Smythe winner, and were 1.4 seconds away from going to overtime against the Devils.

Are the Columbus Blue Jackets... good? No. No they are not. Over the course of an 82-game season, you’ll have your stretches of weird. And the Jackets are in a weird stretch right now. They’ll have the chance to win an unprecedented three straight games tonight.

Player to Watch - Elvis Merzlikins

In his last three games, Joonas Korpisalo has made 103 saves and allowed just five goals, resulting in a ridiculous .954 save percentage. At this rate, he may be pulling away with the starting role, and with the trade deadline approaching, Elvis’s response will be an important factor into whether or not Jarmo trades the finish netminder by March 3rd. He’s been decidedly mediocre in his last two appearances, with .897 and .906 save percentages enough to keep Columbus in the games, but requiring auxiliary scoring to win. With a matchup against considerably less good competition tonight, hopefully Elvis can post a proper response to Korpi for the starting title.

Jackets Notes

Last night was weird. Both teams scored three goals, and the Jackets won 4-1. Whatever. ... Johnny Gaudreau’s ironman streak came to an end last night. Final tally: 349 consecutive games. ... Lane Pederson made his CBJ debut last night, posting one hit and one blocked shot in nine minutes. ... The entire fourth line Robinson-Kuraly-Olivier scored last night, and if it happens again, our writers’ Discord might implode.

The Other Bench

I don’t get why the Hurricanes were so excited to play in a college stadium last night, Arizona’s been doing it all year. ... The Coyotes are in the midst of a more significant hot streak, going 5-1-4 in their last 10, including an eight-game point streak going into tonight. ... Jakob Chychrun is also getting Gavrikov-ed (or is Gavrikov getting Chychrun-ed?), and will not dress for Arizona again. ... Karel Vejmelka was pulled 16 minutes into last night’s game against LA, so it’s unclear if he or Connor Ingram will start tonight.

Season Series

10/25/2022 - ARI 6 at CBJ 3
2/19/2023 - Columbus at Arizona


Arizona Columbus
2.66 (28) GPG 2.55 (30)
3.46 (24) GAPG 3.71 (30)
19.4% (25) PP% 16.0% (32)
76.3% (22) PK% 77.1% (20)
44.4% (30) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.6% (28)
44.1% (30) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.5% (29)
8.7% (12) 5v5 Shooting % 7.6% (27)
.917 (17) 5v5 Save % .907 (26)
Clayton Keller, 23 G Leader Captain Boone Jenner, 16
Clayton Keller, 29 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 37
Clayton Keller, 52 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 52
Josh Brown, 53 PIM Leader Maniac Mathieu Olivier, 72
12-8-2 Home / Road 6-17-2
5-1-4 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Patrik Laine Captain Boone Jenner Kirill Marchenko
Kent Johnson Cole Sillinger Lane Pederson
Emil Bemstrom Jack Roslovic Liam Foudy
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Maniac Mathieu Olivier
Nick Blankenburg Andrew Peeke
Gavin Bayreuther Adam Boqist
Tim Berni Erik Gudbransson
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo

Arizona Coyotes

Clayton Keller Barrett Hayton Nick Schmaltz
Matias MacCelli Nick Bjugstad Lawson Crouse
Nick Ritchie Travis Boyd Christian Fischer
Liam O'Brien Jack McBain Zack Kassian
Juuso Valimaki Troy Stecher
Patrik Nemeth JJ Moser
Josh Brown Victor Soderstrom
Karel Vejmelka
Connor Ingram