Game Thread 81: Columbus Blue Jackets at Colorado Avalanche

Columbus Blue Jackets (27-46-7, 61 pts) at
Colorado Avalanche (41-33-6, 88 pts)
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 9:00 PM EDT

This is the definition of a "must-win" for the Avs: literally, if they don't win in regulation, they are eliminated from the playoffs. They need help, to be sure, but if they don't win in regulation tonight, their season is over. Well, not "over" over, but they are eliminated from any post-season contention. In addition, they've had five days off. FIVE.

Obviously, that probably means they're going to come out flying.

For the Jackets, they have at plenty of times down the stretch enjoyed playing the spoiler's role. They could actually win the season series in terms of points with a regulation win, if you can believe that. It looks like Steve Mason will get the start tonight, per The Dispatch's pre-game lines. Otherwise, it will be the same lineup that chucked 54 shots at Mike Smith the other night. One has to hope if they can do something like that again, they won't run into a goalie who hasn't been scored on in basically 11 periods of hockey.

For the Jackets, they have two games left. Tonight marks the end of their road schedule. Let's hope they can finish it out strong.

Enjoy the game!

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