Preview: Blue Jackets Can Match Season-high Win Streak
The Columbus Blue Jackets have ridden their hot goaltender to three-straight victories. They aim to match their season-best, four-game win streak tonight at Buffalo.
Ahead of Monday night's matchup against the Buffalo Sabres, the Columbus Blue Jackets enter on a three-game winning streak, and on the heels of one of their more complete games Friday against the Rangers, which John Tortorella has been seeking.
"I thought we played in the areas we needed to play in. We were better. It was a game that I thought we deserved to win. I'm pretty honest about winning and losing. We won some games prior to that, that, really, we went in the back door. We're still getting chances from, really, our secondary guys. We still haven't gotten our top guys untracked, but I thought we played good." — John Tortorella
A win tonight would match a season-long, four-game win streak.
Meanwhile, the Sabres come into tonight's matchup last in the Eastern Conference and looking to bust a five-game losing streak. Since the last meeting between these two clubs back in Columbus October 25, Buffalo is 2-5-2.
Just as the Jackets have struggled offensively, scoring one regulation goal in four of their past five, the Sabres have also gone through an offensive funk. In five of their past seven games, they have netted one or fewer goals.
David Savard, coming off his first healthy scratch since 2014, will draw back in tonight. Thanks to the stellar play of Sergei Bobrovsky, Joonas Korpisalo hasn't had much opportunity in the crease. He, along with Sonny Milano and Gabriel Carlsson, was sent to Cleveland for playing time Saturday. The Monsters won 3-1, and though the three were recalled Sunday, Carlsson was sent right back to Cleveland.
"Since [returning from] his injury, the game has been faster around him. He's played slow. He's got to get some minutes. We can't keep him around here to play six or seven minutes.” — Tortorella on Carlsson
Obviously, while we won't know until closer to puck drop, tonight could make sense for Korpisalo to start, and fresh off his Saturday night performance. If Bobrovsky suits up, it will be his fifth-straight start, his longest consecutive-game streak this season.
Sunday's Practice Lines
F Artemi Panarin-Pierre-Luc Dubois-Josh Anderson
Alexander Wennberg, Lukas Sedlak, and Matt Calvert all skated.
#CBJ PP #1— Alison (@AlisonL) November 19, 2017
Panarin - Bjorkstrand - Atkinson
Dubinsky - Dubois - Milano
Jackets Three Stars
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is the hottest goalie on the planet. As he earned consecutive Sportscenter Top Play of the Day honors, and then followed up by out-dueling Henrik Lundqvist with a shutout, Bobrovsky enters play leading the league in Goals Against Average (2.02) and is second in Save Percentage (.933).
Bob, who has allowed just four goals his last four games, could take 3 Stars of the Week honors later today.
Artemi Panarin’s power-play goal Friday snapped the Jackets goalless drought on the man-advantage (0-19), a span of seven games. The last one came off the stick of Oliver Bjorkstrand in Florida November 2nd.
Cam Atkinson looked resoundingly better Friday and why not, with contentious negotiations settled and his future no longer up for debate. Firing seven shots on net, he did everything but score. Look for him to show more of that energy tonight.
Feasting on Buffalo?
Chad Johnson has seen the crease nine times this season, including seven starts. He is 1-4 on the season and carries a 3.36 GAA, .892 S% into action tonight. He started the last game against Columbus October 25, surrendering all five Jackets’ goals.
Robin Lehner has been the primary starter for Buffalo and is 0-2-1 his prior three starts. All-time against Columbus, Lehner is 5-2 in seven career games, 1.81 GAA, .951 S% and a shutout.
|Evander Kane||Ryan O'Reilly||Sam Reinhart|
|Benoit Pouliot||Johan Larsson||Jason Pominville|
|Zemgus Girgensons||Jack Eichel||Jason Pominville|
|Jordan Nolan||Kyle Criscuolo||Seth Griffith|
|Marco Scandella||Justin Falk|
|Jake Mccabe||Nathan Beaulieu|
|Josh Gorges||Viktor Antipin|
|Artemi Panarin||Nick Foligno||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Boone Jenner||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Tyler Motte||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Josh Anderson|
|Sonny Milano||Jordan Schroeder||Markus Hannikainen|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Ryan Murray||Markus Nutivaara|