Preview: Jackets Face First Real Test As They Set to Play the Tampa Bay Lightning

By Paul Berthelot on October 13, 2018 at 7:05 am
Cam Atkinson and Ryan Murray celebrate scoring against the Panthers

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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No disrespect to the prior teams the Jackets have played, but the Tampa Bay Lightning are the first real test for the Blue Jackets this season.

The Jackets are expected to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. To get there, they need to get it done against the best teams in the league. Tampa is a popular pick to come out of the Eastern Conference and has been one of the better teams in the league for years.

The Jackets will need to play better than they did against Florida if they hope to get a win tonight.

Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in net.


Projected Lineup

Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson

Foligno – Wennberg – Duclair

Jenner – Nash – Anderson

Milano – Sedlak – Bjorkstrand

Defensemen

Werenski – Savard

Murray – Nutivaara

Harrington – Clendening

In Net

Bobrovsky

Storylines

  • Tampa is in the middle of a five-game homestand to start the season. They had a bad loss to Vancouver in their last game, losing 4-1. They will certainly be pissed off and come out ready the Jackets need to be prepared to match that intensity.
  • Goal scoring: The Lightning were the highest scoring team in the league last season with 290 goals. Through two games this season they have just two. It won’t be long before players like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov find their game, the Jackets need to try and hold them down for one more game.
  • Artemi Panarin vs. Victor Hedman: This is the big matchup in this game; the Jackets all-world scorer against the Lightning’s Norris winning defencemen. Last season they played 16:37 against each other at 5 on 5 and Panarin had the edge with a 73.53% Corsi. Tampa has a strong defense group; the Jackets will need Panarin to continue to dominate this matchup.
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