Game Preview: Blue Jackets Continue Season-Long Homestand Tonight Against the Anaheim Ducks

By Paul Berthelot on December 15, 2018 at 10:58 am
Seth Jones and Riley Nash defend against Ducks defencemen Cam Fowler

Kelvin Kuo – USA TODAY Sports

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The Blue Jackets, losers of two consecutive games and four of their last five were able to right the ship (slightly) with a win over the lowly Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Tonight they face another Pacific Division team in the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks had a slow start but have picked things up, and are now right in the middle of the Pacific race. They currently sit in a tie for second with the San Jose Sharks with 39 points; however, they have outplayed their point total as their -10 goal differential is the lowest of any team currently in a playoff spot.

The Blue Jackets will be in tough, but if they play their game, this is certainly a game they can – and should – win.

PROJECTED LINES

Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson

Foligno – Jenner – Anderson

Bjorkstrand – Wennberg – Sedlak

Hannikainen – Dubinsky – Nash

DEFENSEMEN

Murray – Jones

Nutivaara – Savard

Werenski – Harrington

GOALTENDER

Bobrovsky

STORYLINES

  • John Gibson has been spectacular for the Ducks this season. He has carried this team to the record they have and this will be a real test for the Blue Jackets. Gibson’s .925 save percentage is tied for seventh-best in the NHL. There will not be any cheap goals allowed.
  • Injury woes. The Ducks are not a healthy team at the moment. They are missing key offensive contributors Rikard Rakell and Corey Perry up front, and Cam Fowler on the backend. These injuries have forced the Ducks' hand a bit this season, they made a trade to acquire talented winger Daniel Sprong from Pittsburgh, who has one goal in four games with the Ducks.
  • Their injuries have also paved a path for Columbus native Kiefer Sherwood to have a regular spot in the Anaheim lineup. Kiefer is the brother of Blue Jackets prospect Kole Sherwood, and is a product of the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets program. He has great speed and that will be on display as he gets his first opportunity as a pro to play in his hometown. There’s no doubt this game will be extra special for him.

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