|NEW JERSEY DEVILS|
14–16–5 (33 points; .471%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7:00 P.M. – SATURDAY, JANUARY 8
BALLY SPORTS OHIO
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
The Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils kicked off a home-and-home Thursday in Newark, and the Blue Jackets looked much better than they had in their two previous games.
It didn't matter on the scoreboard.
The Blue Jackets lost 3-1, their third consecutive loss and fifth defeat in the last six games. It sent Columbus below .500 for the first time this season and put them into 7th place in the metropolitan division.
When the two teams conclude the home-and-home Saturday at Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets will not only be looking to get back to .500 but will also be seeking their first win of the new year.
|54.7%||MONEYPUCK'S ODDS TO WIN||45.3%|
|59.0%||THE 538'S ODDS TO WIN||41.0%|
|79.4||82-GAME POINT PACE||77.3|
RE: NEW JERSEY
Thursday wasn't Mackenize Blackwood's best start of the season — the Devils goaltender has two shutouts this season, including a 42-save shutout against the New York Islanders in November — but a handful of key stops from the 25-year-old were paramount in New Jersey's win.
Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt both scored Thursday and combined for five points in the win. Bratt leads the team with 32 points, but Hughes' three-point night gave him 20 points in just 18 games. The duo will again be one that the Blue Jackets will need to keep at bay if Columbus wants to avoid losing consecutive games to the Devils for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
"WE CAN DEFINITELY BUILD ON IT."
That was the quote from Max Domi after the loss Thursday, and he's right. Without the play of Blackwood, who came in as the third star of the game, the Blue Jackets likely pick up at least one point and maybe two. He'll have the tough task of needing to be even better between the pipes Saturday if the Devils want to pick up another win.
TOO MUCH BALANCE?
Jack Roslovic was the only Blue Jacket skater without a shot on goal Thursday. That kind of balance can be good, but getting the puck in the hands of the playmakers on a more regular basis is better than balance. Laine, despite the solid game and a team-leading 0.30 expected goals, couldn't bury the biscuit. Oliver Bjorkstrand, however, had just one shot on goal in over 20 minutes of time on ice. The Blue Jackets are 4-0 in games where Laine has scored this season, and 6-1 in games where Bjorkstrand has done so. Let's get those guys going.
|29||Patrik Laine||38||Boone Jenner||14||Gus Nyquist|
|93||Jakub Voracek||19||Liam Foudy||28||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|59||Yegor Chinakhov||7||Sean Kuraly||16||Max Domi|
|50||Eric Robinson||96||Jack Roslovic||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|44||Vladislav Gavrikov||22||Jake Bean|
|46||Dean Kukan||27||Adam Boqvist|
|32||Jake Christiansen||2||Andrew Peeke|
|70||Joonas Korpisalo||30||Jean-Francois Berube|
*SUBJECT TO CHANGE