Game #82 Preview: Blue Jackets face must-lose finale as they host deflated Sabres

Here's what you need to know

Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets
Friday, April 14, 2023 - 7:00 PM EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Bally's Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM

Buffalo Sabres, 41-33-7, 89 points, 5th Atlantic, 10th East
Columbus Blue Jackets, 25-47-9, 59 points, 8th Metro, 16th East

Welp, so much for the top odds. The Blue Jackets decided to break their Penguins curse at the absolute worst possible time, guaranteeing the Anaheim Ducks a 25.2% chance at Connor Bedard.

The Jackets can finish anywhere from 31st to 29th depending on how this works out tonight. Here are the scenarios:

Please, for once, do the right thing as an organization and lose in regulation.

Player to Watch

Owen Power

Owen Power, the 20 year old rookie out of the University of Michigan, has had a tremendous rookie campaign for a surprisingly strong Sabres squad. Power, despite the steep learning curve for NHL defenseman, has posted a 4-31-35 line in 77 games played as of this writing while going +10 with a 5.2 point share and blocking 84 shots on the year. Power has certainly earned a spot as a Calder finalist the season, and Buffalo fans should rightfully be excited for the future of their blue line.

Jackets Notes

Jackets who will not play tonight: Jenner, Olivier, Gudbranson, Robinson, Blankenburg, Merzlikins, Pederson, Jenner, Laine, Danforth, Bean ... Jenner, of significant concern for the future, is dealing with a flare up of a previously-occurring lower back injury

The Other Bench

The Sabres have the longest playoff drought in the NHL currently ... the Sabres have multiple losing streaks this year, including stretches of 0-8-0 in November, 1-4-1 in January, and 2-8-2 in February/March ... Tage Thompson exploded this year with 46-47-93 to establish himself not only as a top option for the Sabres, but as a Hart Trophy candidate

Season Series

12/07/2022 BUF 9 @ CBJ 4
02/28/2023 CBJ 5 @ BUF 3
04/14/2023 BUF @ CBJ


Buffalo   Columbus
3.55 (4) GPG 2.60 (30)
3.65 (27) GAPG 4.03 (31)
23.5% (8) PP% 18.3% (26)
73.0% (28) PK% 75.6% (23)
51.27% (14) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 44.85% (30)
50.22% (17) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 44.85% (30)
9.37 (4) 5v5 Shooting % 7.75 (28)
.903 (29) 5v5 Save % .900 (31)
Tage Thompson, 46 G Leader Boone Jenner, 26
Rasmus Dahlin, 57 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 53
Tage Thompson, 93 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 72
Rasmus Dahlin, 92 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 81
24-13-3 Home / Road 15-22-2
7-2-1 Last 10 2-6-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau Sean Kuraly Kirill Marchenko
Kent Johnson Jack Roslovic Liam Foudy
Joona Luoto Hunter McKown Emil Bemstrom
Tyler Angle Mikael Pyythia Samuel Knazko
Gavin Bayreuther Andrew Peeke
Stanislav Svozil Adam Boqvist
Billy Sweezey Tim Berni
Michael Hutchinson
Jon Gillies

Buffalo Sabres

Jeff Skinner Casey Mittelstadt Alex Tuch
Jordan Greenway Dylan Cozens Tage Thompson
John Jason Peterka Tyson Jost Jack Quinn
Zemgus Girgensons Peyton Krebs Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin Mattias Samuelsson
Owen Power Henri Jokiharju
Riley Stillman Ilya Lyubushkin
Devon Levi
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

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