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Game #58 Preview: Blue Jackets welcome Wild to Nationwide Arena looking to continue solid play against Western Conference

Minnesota Wild at Columbus Blue Jackets
Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 7:00 PM ET
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Bally’s Sports Ohio – Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Hockey Wilderness

Minnesota Wild, 31-21-5, 67 points, 4th Central, 8th West
Columbus Blue Jackets, 18-34-5, 41 points, 8th Metro, 16th East

The Columbus Blue Jackets return to the ice after their two game roadtrip tonight to take on the visiting Minnesota Wild. On paper, this one’s a mismatch – the Wild boast a top-tier playmaker, solid depth throughout the lineup and upper-echelon goaltending and defense against … whatever the Blue Jackets happen to be icing on a night to night basis. That being said, the Jackets have been punching above their weight for the first time all season lately, dragging teams into ugly low-scoring events that they have been able to capitalize on them. Given the impending Vladislav Gavrikov trade and the availability of players like Joonas Korpisalo, Jack Roslovic, and others there may not be many such games left this year. Enjoy them while you can, Jackets fans.

Also, happy birthday to MrSwift13’s mom, who gets to go to her first NHL game since Game 3 vs the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight!

Player to Watch

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov has been electric since his NHL debut. While he turns 25 in just over two months, Kaprizov has played just 193 NHL games. In those games, he has 107 goals, 119 assists (for 226 points), 12 game winning goals, 152 even strength points, and a career 16.2 shooting percentage. He’s been all Wild fans could have dreamed of and more as they waited for his debut. Containing Kaprizov will be the number one goal for the Blue Jackets tonight to have any hope coming out of this one with two points.

Jackets Notes

Kirill Marchenko is second among all NHL rookies in goal scoring with 14, trailing only Seattle’s Matty Beniers, who has 18 … Mathieu Olivier, who along with Erik Gudbranson, fought on Sunday against the Coyotes, is second in the NHL in fighting majors … the Blue Jackets have notched a point in three straight road games for the first time all season … Sean Kuraly’s 10 hits against Arizona were the most for a Blue Jacket in a single game since 2017 (Boone Jenner had 11 that night)

The Other Bench

Filip Gustavsson, acquired last summer from the Ottawa Senators, has proven to be a reliable option – he now ranks second in the entire NHL in goals against average (2.11) and save percentage (.928) … fellow NHLers ranked Kirill Kaprizov among the top ten wingers in the league currently … trade rumors have linked the Wild to Minnesota native Brock Boeser

Season Series

02/23/2023 MIN @ CBJ
02/26/2023 CBJ @ MIN


Minnesota   Columbus
2.86 (25) GPG 2.54 (30)
2.77 (11) GAPG 3.70 (30)
23.6% (8) PP% 16.3% (30)
81.8% (7) PK% 77.3% (20)
50.46% (19) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.67% (28)
50.85% (14) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.67% (29)
7.14 (30) 5v5 Shooting % 7.57 (27)
.922 (10) 5v5 Save % .907 (25)
Kirill Kaprizov, 33 G Leader Boone Jenner, 17
Mats Zuccarello, 36 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 37
Kirill Kaprizov, 67 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 52
Ryan Hartman, 68 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 77
12-11-3 Home / Road 12-17-2
5-4-1 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lineups

Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Johnny Gaudreau
Kirill Marchenko Cole Sillinger Kent Johnson
Liam Foudy Jack Roslovic Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Nick Blankenburg Andrew Peeke
Gavin Bayreuther Adam Boqvist
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Kirill Kaprizov Ryan Hartman Mats Zuccarello
Adam Beckman Joel Eriksson Ek Matthew Boldy
Jordan Greenway Frederick Gaudreau Brandon Duhaime
Mason Shaw Connor Dewar Ryan Reaves
Jacob Middleton Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin Mathew Dumba
Jon Merrill Alex Goligoski
Filip Gustavsson
Marc-Andre Fleury