Game 25 Preview: Jackets Return Home to Take on the Flames

Finally, back home. The Jackets return to Nationwide Arena to face the Flames tonight, after concluding a disastrous five-game road trip. The Jackets won the first game, but then promptly lost four in a row. The team played horrible defensively, and the goaltenders were anything but sharp. Mason however did look good in the last game against Ottawa, making big saves when needed, however he lost focus on the game winning goal for Ottawa, a wraparound by Nick Foligno late in the third. Mase was again haunted by a play that developed from behind the net.

The Flames are a fairly high scoring team, and they play physical. They play a lot like Columbus does when the Jackets are "on", so this on paper is a pretty fair matchup. What remains to be seen is whether or not the Jackets can get their act together in the defensive zone. Something is broken, the effort level isn't there and the goalies haven't been good. These factors need to be remedied immediatly, as the Jackets are losing ground fast. The Preds and Blackhawks are the hottest team in the NHL right now, and the Jackets need to keep pace.

There have been some shakeups to the forward lines. Raffi Torres should be lining up with Vermette and Nash on the first line, and Umby is moving to the second line right-wing position with Jake moving to the third line. Look for recently called-up Alex Picard to see some action on the fourth line. I love his game- tons of jam and he still actually has offensive talent, although he has yet to show it at the NHL level. I fully expect him to take advantage of this chance and have a strong game.

Fearless Prediction: Picard scores his first NHL goal!

Game Time: 7:00pm ET

Opponent's Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Game Page: Flames vs Blue Jackets Coverage

TSN Preview: Flames vs Blue Jackets Preview

TV: FSN Ohio

Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)

More after the jump...

From the Columbus Dispatch:

The Blue Jackets aim to snap a season-high, four-game losing streak. Since Oct. 7, 2005, the Blue Jackets are 7-1-0 against the Flames in Nationwide Arena, including a 2-1 win Oct. 13.

Jackets Links:

Columbus Blue Jackets / Columbus Blue Jackets Schedule

Columbus Blue Jackets Roster / Columbus Blue Jackets Stats

Here are the lineups for tonight's tilt:

Columbus Blue Jackets

Raffi Torres
Antoine Vermette
Rick Nash
Kristian Huselius
Derick Brassard
R.J. Umberger
Jason Chimera Samuel Pahlsson
Jakub Voracek
Alexandre Picard
Derek MacKenzie
Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin Anton Stralman
Rostislav Klesla
Jan Hejda
Marc Methot
Mike Commodore
Steve Mason
Mathieu Garon

EXTRA: Kris Russell, Michael Blunden

INJURED: Fredrik Modin, Andrew Murray, Derek Dorsett

Calgary Flames

Jamie Lundmark
Olli Jokinen
Jarome Iginla
Nigel Dawes
Daymond Langkow
David Moss
Curtis Glencross
Craig Conroy
Dustin Boyd
Fredrik Sjostrom
Eric Nystrom
Brandon Prust
Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano
Dion Phaneuf
Robyn Regehr
Adam Pardy
Aaron Johnson
Curtis McElhinney
Miikka Kiprusoff

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