Game 77 Preview: Jackets host the Lightning
I love it when the Jackets play Eastern Conference squads. It makes me think about how much better things would be for the Jackets if they were in the Eastern Conference. Not only that, but the East has a vast majority of the league's most exciting players. Three of those players will be in Tampa's lineup tonight- Steve Stamkos, Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier. Granted, Vinny is having a sub-par year, but he is still one of the top forwards in the game. The top six of Tampa is very exciting- and I like the way their defense is shaping up.
Mase gets the start tonight for the Jackets, and the Bolts will likely counter with Niittymaki. Chris Clark, who was injured in the last game against the Isles is out and will be for the rest of the season. Tomas Kana, who was acquired earlier in the season from St. Louis, was called up and will make his NHL debut tonight.
Fearless Prediction: Jake Voracek scores his 50th point of the season.
Game Time: 7:00pm ET
Opponent's Blog: Raw Charge
Game Page: Lightning vs Blue Jackets coverage
TSN Preview: Lightning vs Blue Jackets preview
Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)
More after the jump...
From the Columbus Dispatch:
The Blue Jackets are 7-2-3 in Nationwide Arena since Claude Noel took over as interim coach. With Steven Stamkos on one line and Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis on another, the Lightning can be a handful in the attack zone.
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
|Kristian Huselius || Antoine Vermette ||Rick Nash |
| R.J. Umberger || Derick Brassard ||Jakub Voracek|
| Andrew Murray ||Samuel Pahlsson ||Tomas Kana |
|Derek Dorsett || Trevor Frischmon || Michael Blunden |
|Fedor Tyutin||Marc Methot |
|Mike Commodore ||Kris Russell |
|Grant Clitsome ||Anton Stralman|
|EXTRA: Nathan Paetsch|
|INJURED/SICK: Derek MacKenzie,Chris Clark, Jared Boll, Jan Hejda, Rostislav Klesla|
|Martin St. Louis || Steven Stamkos ||Steve Downie |
|Ryan Malone || Vincent Lecavalier ||Alex Tanguay |
|Todd Fedoruk || Nate Thompson ||Stephane Veilleux |
|Teddy Purcell ||Paul Szczechura || Zenon Konopka |
| Mike Lundin || Mattias Ohlund |
|Kurtis Foster || Victor Hedman |
| Andrej Meszaros || Matt Walker |
| Antero Niittymaki|
| Mike Smith|