Game 45 Game Thread: Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets

The Edmonton Oilers come calling tonight, and they might be almost as banged up as the Blue Jackets. Missing for Edmonton are all of the following:

C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder), RW Jordan Eberle (knee), D Ryan Whitney (ankle), D Tom Gilbert (knee), D Cam Barker (ankle), D Taylor Fedun (leg), D Alex Plante (head)

Obviously, the top three are the biggest, but also note that there are a LOT of defensemen missing from a team that has had a hard time on defense in recent years. In other words, tonight's game could be interesting. The Oilers notoriously find ways to score repeatedly on Columbus, and now Columbus may have a better-than-average chance to return the favor. There's also a bit of firepower out of the lineup for Edmonton up front, as well.

So, the Jackets will need to punish them early and often. Columbus is coming off of two straight games of pretty solid work at home. They let up a bit in the third period of Friday's win against Phoenix, but still controlled the play for 40 good minutes and managed to hold on. Against San Jose, they played a solid 60, and just got unlucky.

Hopefully the trend of effort can continue tonight, and the result can get back on the positive side.

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