31-26-4 (66 points; .541%)
7:00 P.M. – SATURDAY, MARCH 4
CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
OTTAWA, ON, CAN
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK: 28%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538: 33%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK: OTT -260|
The Columbus Blue Jackets are north of the border Saturday night for the first half of a quick two-game road trip in a match-up against the Ottawa Senators.
Here's what to know when the Blue Jackets make their second trip of the season to Ottawa for a date against the surging Senators:
|SENS: LAST THREE GAMES|
|MON, 2/27||vs. Red Wings||W, 6-2|
|TUE, 2/28||vs. Red Wings||W, 6-1|
|THU, 3/2||@ Rangers||W, 5-3|
|SENS: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: SENS
Ottawa is hot. Not only have they won four straight games, they've dominated them. Each win has been by at least two goals, and they've outscored the opposition (Montreal, twice against Detroit, and the New York Rangers) by a combined score of 22-8.
They're balanced, too. While the Blue Jackets are looking for their first 20-goal scorer of the season, Ottawa's Drake Batherson will become the fifth Senator to hit 20 goals on his next goal. The numbers are consistent in the assist category, too: five Senators have at least 32 assists. Only one Blue Jacket (Johnny Gaudreau) has more than 28.
Tim Stutzle has scored a goal in three consecutive games, bringing his total to a team-leading 29. The 21-year-old has 64 points on the season, one behind Brady Tkachuk's team-leading 65.
For a team that ranks right in the middle of the league in goals per game, this will sound scary: no team in the league has been as unlucky in the goals for category as much as the Senators. They sit at -27.25 goals above expected on the season, an indication that they're doing everything right and have fallen victim of bad luck. This is a far cry from Columbus' opponent Friday, the Seattle Kraken, who has benefitted from puck-luck more than any other team (by far) at +26.5. If the Senators we're at 0.00 in this category, their goals per game would go from 3.15 (16th in the league) to 3.59 (4th).
- There's been no official announcement as of early Saturday, but expect Cam Talbot to be between the pipes for Ottawa. Former Blue Jacket Anton Forsberg, who was splitting time with Talbot, is out for the season after tearing both MCL's last month. Talbot is 14-14-1 with a goals against of 2.88 and a save percentage of .905 this season.
TALKING POINTS: CBJ
Friday night was the first start of Elvis Merzlikins' NHL career without Joonas Korpisalo on the roster. He started sharp but faded a bit down the stretch in a 4-2 loss to the Kraken. Still, Merzlikins now has three consecutive starts with a save percentage north of .900. Prior to this stretch, Elvis hadn't even had back-to-back games with a percentage of .900+.
Columbus allowed a pair of power play goals in Friday's loss, making it four straight games where they've allowed a goal while short-handed. During the four-game stretch, Columbus is just 8-of-13 on the penalty kill. The Senators are tied for third in the league at 25.1% on the man-advantage, so, lookout.
- Gaudreau was the victim of a double-doink off the goalpost late Friday, which would've tied the game. It also would've snapped a five-game streak without a goal for Johnny, a streak that now sits at six. That's his second-longest streak of the season, trailing only a nine-game goalless stretch in December and early January.
PROJECTED CBJ LINES
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||38||Boone Jenner||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|91||Kent Johnson||96||Jack Roslovic||29||Patrik Laine|
|50||Eric Robinson||34||Cole Sillinger||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|19||Liam Foudy||18||Lane Pederson||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|75||Tim Berni||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|77||Nick Blankenburg||2||Andrew Peeke|
|15||Gavin Bayreuther||27||Adam Boqvist|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||31||Michael Hutchinson|