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Game #65 Preview/GameThread: Blue Jackets wrap up season series with Canadiens

Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 – 7PM ET
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC
TV: Bally’s Sports Ohio – Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog – Habs Eyes on the Prize

Columbus Blue Jackets, 22-32-10, 54 points, 8th Metro, 16th East
Montreal Canadiens, 24-30-10, 58 points, 7th Atlantic, 14th East

The Columbus Blue Jackets travel to the heart of Quebec to take on the Montreal Canadiens tonight. The Jackets are hitting the road on the heels of a 2-2 week that saw them beat the Edmonton Oilers at home but also lose yet again in PPG Paints Arena to a disappointing Pittsburgh Penguins team. The Blue Jackets are a land of contrasts. Meanwhile, the Canadiens have lost two straight after falling on Hockey Night in Canada to the Toronto Maple Leafs. One team willl get back to the wins column tonight – can it be Columbus?

Player to Watch

Nick Suzuki

Nick Suzuki may not be a prototypical number one center in the NHL, but the Canadiens’ captain is putting together a career season at age 23. He has posted a 25-36-61 statlne in 64 games this year and is on pace to blow past his career high of 66 points (set last season). Suzuki is beginning to make the leap the Canadiens’ organization hoped he would when he signed his eight year extension and, if he continues his progression, will be a value contract in the coming years.

Game Notes

The Montreal Canadiens solved their logjam at goaltender by trading Jake Allen, leaving their tandem for the rest of the year to Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau … The Canadiens have allowed the most short-handed goals in the NHL this season … the Canadiens matched the Matthews line with the Suzuki line on Saturday and Canadiens controlled 77.3% of xG and a 68.7% Corsi, the young players rewarding their coach for the trust in a tough matchup … Kent Johnson had surgery on Thursday to repair his torn labrum and will miss six months, but should be ready for training camp … Adam Fantilli, because of his injury status, was ineligible to be papered to Cleveland for the playoffs … Elvis Merzlikins has a .918 SV% and a 2.63 GAA since February 23

Season Series

10/26/2023 CBJ 3 @ MTL 4 (OT)
11/29/2023 MTL 4 @ CBJ 2
03/12/2024 CBJ @ MTL


2.75 (27)GPG2.97 (21)
3.48 (27)GAPG3.61 (31)
18.8% (23)PP%14.2% (31)
75.1% (28)PK%76.6% (25)
45.98% (28)5v5 Shot Attempt %48.15% (21)
46.47% (28)5v5 Unblocked Shot Attempt %48.28% (22)
8.39% (19)5v5 Shooting %9.35% (7)
.919 (9)5v5 Save %.911 (18)
Nick Suzuki, 25G LeaderBoone Jenner, 19
Nick Suzuki, 36A LeaderJohnny Gaudreau, 35
Nick Suzuki, 61P LeaderJohnny Gaudreau, 45
Arber Xhekhaj, 67PIM LeaderErik Gudbranson, 59
2-6-2Last 105-5-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny GaudreauBoone JennerYegor Chinakhov
Alexandre TexierCole SillingerAlex Nylander
Trey Fix-WolanskyDmitri VoronkovKirill Marchenko
Carson MeyerSean KuralyMathieu Olivier
Zach WerenskiAdam Boqvist
Ivan ProvorovDamon Severson
Jake BeanErik Gudbranson
Elvis Merzlikins
Daniil Tarasov

Montreal Canadiens

Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Joshua RoyAlex NewhookJoel Armia
Brendan GallagherJake EvansJosh Anderson
Michael PezzettaTanner PearsonRafael Harvey-Pinard
Michael MathesonKaiden Guhle
Arber XhekhajDavid Savard
Jayden StrubleJordan Harris
Samuel Montembeault
Cayden Primeau