11–13–1 (23 points; .460%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7:30 P.M. – WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7
The Columbus Blue Jackets losing streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins continued Tuesday night, with Johnny Gaudreau's opening-minute goal the only Blue Jackets tally in a 4-1 loss.
It was the sixth straight regulation loss to the Penguins, who have bested Columbus on home ice in 12 straight contests dating back to 2015.
There is little time to rest for Gaudreau and company though, as the Blue Jackets have their 5th back-to-back of the season Wednesday when the Buffalo Sabres visit Nationwide Arena for the first time in the 2022-23 campaign.
And — no pressure or anything — but for the first time ever, the Blue Jackets are featured on TNT's Wednesday Night Hockey. As a result, the game will start at 7:30 p.m.
Here's what to know when Columbus and Buffalo do battle in front of a nationally televised audience:
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK||41%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538||54%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK BETTING||BUF -135|
|SABRES: LAST THREE GAMES|
|SUN, 12/4||vs. SHARKS||W, 6-3|
|THU, 12/1||vs. AVALANCHE||L, 6-4|
|WED, 11/30||@ RED WINGS||W, 5-4 SO|
|SABRES: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: BUF
Buffalo can score. Their 3.80 goals per game is second in the NHL behind only the Boston Bruins (3.96), and it's the highest that number has been for the Sabres since the 1992-93 season.
Four Sabres have already hit double-digits in goals, and Dylan Cozens is one away from joining them. (Columbus, for reference, is still waiting on their first.) Buffalo has been led by 25-year-old center Tage Thompson, who leads the team in both goals (16) and points (34).
Despite the heavy offensive presence, the Sabres are still under the .500 mark because they give up just as many as they score. Buffalo's 3.68 goals against ranks 28th in the league, and they've allowed two goals in all but one game since opening night. It's been even worse over the last two weeks, with the Sabres giving up 22 goals over their last five games — an average of 4.40 per game.
- Special teams have made or broke the Sabres this season. They're 5th on the power play, converting at a sultry 27.4% The penalty kill, though, is as bad as the power play is good. Their 70.6% kill rate is near the bottom of the league, and they've allowed seven power play goals in the opposition's last 18 chances.
SUCCESS VERSUS SABRES
Dating back nearly four years, the Blue Jackets are 5-0-2 against the Sabres — including 3-0-0 last season, where they scored 18 goals in the season sweep. With Buffalo's ability to put the puck in the net, the Blue Jackets will likely need to find multiple sources of offense to keep the point streak against the Sabres going.
FIRST TO TEN?
Columbus is without a double-digit goal scorer — yet. Both Gaudreau and Boone Jenner have nine goals on the season, with Johnny Hockey's ninth coming in Tuesday's loss. It was his first of the season away from Nationwide Arena. With the Sabres knack for giving up goals (and Gaudreau's knack for scoring in front of the home crowd), will Wednesday be the day Columbus gets their first player to ten goals?
SLOWLY IMPROVING ON THE BLUE LINE
Over the last seven games, the Blue Jackets have allowed 16 goals in 5-on-5 play. That's just 2.28 goals per game for the opposition. Even with the five power play goals allowed over that stretch, the 3.00 goals against mark by the Blue Jackets is a trend in the right direction, with their average goals against has dropped from 4.41 to 3.96 over that span.
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||38||Boone Jenner||29||Patrik Laine|
|91||Kent Johnson||96||Jack Roslovic||14||Gus Nyquist|
|59||Yegor Chinakhov||34||Cole Sillinger||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|50||Eric Robinson||7||Sean Kuraly||72||Carson Meyer|
|4||Vladislav Gavrikov||47||Marcus Bjork|
|15||Gavin Bayreuther||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|75||Tim Berni||2||Andrew Peeke|
|70||Joonas Korpisalo||90||Elvis Merzlikins|