10:00 P.M. – FRIDAY, MARCH 17
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK: 48%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538: 45%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK: ANA -125|
Voices are getting louder that a win is really a loss for the Columbus Blue Jackets, a theory that will be in full effect Friday night when the Jackets continue a five-game road trip with a date against the Anaheim Ducks.
With just over a dozen games left in the regular season, the Blue Jackets maintain the worst record in the league — which at this point is just a negative way of saying the best chance to draft Connor Bedard this summer. The Ducks are tied for the third-worst mark in the league, but the gap between the two teams could be nearly cut in half if Columbus gets a regulation win to start their weekend.
Anaheim won the first game of the season series in January at Nationwide Arena, a 5-3 win that saw Columbus turn a 3-0 lead into a multi-goal defeat. Was it a blessing in disguise that helps Columbus land a top pick? Time will tell.
Here's what else to know for Friday night's SoCal battle between the Ducks and the Blue Jackets:
|DUCKS: LAST THREE GAMES|
|FRI, 3/10||@ Flames||W, 3-1|
|SUN, 3/12||vs. Predators||OTL, 5-4|
|WED, 3/15||vs. Islanders||L, 6-3|
|DUCKS: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: DUCKS
By most metrics, this is a game that the Blue Jackets should win. For as bad as Columbus has been this season, they're better than the Ducks in goals for, goals against, power play, penalty kill, shots for, shots against, better puck possession metrics across the board and even a better face-off percentage.
The Ducks are led in goals, assists, and points by 21-year-old Trevor Zegras, who's developed a knack for being extremely crafty with the puck. His stat line of 21-36-57 is impressive, and paired with 20-year-old rookie Mason McTavish (16-24-40), the Ducks do have a future that looks better than its present.
- Rookie netminder Lukas Dostal will get the start Friday night. In 11 starts this season, the 22-year-oldhas three wins, a 3.90 goals against average, and an .898 save percentage.
TALKING POINTS: CBJ
Friday is the second half of a back-to-back for the Blue Jackets. Since December 1st, Columbus is 1-6-2 on the second night. The Ducks, in the midst of an eight-game homestand, were off Thursday. That's good for the Ducks, who have just one win all season (and a 1-7-1 record) on the second half of a back-to-back.
Kirill Marchenko scored the lone Columbus goal in their 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. The rookie has 17 goals in 44 goals and averages 1.53 goals per 60 minutes of ice time. That's 20% than Patrik Laine, who is second on the team in said category at 1.27.
- Columbus' six-game streak with a power play goal came to an end Thursday night in Los Angeles, though the Blue Jackets only had two attempts.
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|
|31||Michael Hutchinson||40||Daniil Tarasov|