7:00 P.M. – SATURDAY, MARCH 25
MONTREAL, QB, CAN
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK: 42%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538: 42%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK: MTL -130|
It's tough to give up ten goals in two games and win them both in the NHL.
But the Columbus Blue Jackets have done just that this week.
After a 7-6 overtime win in the Nation's Capital on Tuesday night, the Blue Jackets picked up another overtime win — this time by a 5-4 score and over the New York Islanders — in front of the home crowd at Nationwide Arena on Friday night.
Columbus will now look to make it three straight in the win column for the first time this season Saturday night when they battle Cole Caufield and the Montreal Canadiens.
Here's what to know when the Blue Jackets travel north of the border for their third and final meeting of the season with the Habs:
|CANADIENS: LAST THREE GAMES|
|SAT, 3/18||@ Lightning||L, 5-3|
|TUE, 3/21||vs. Lightning||W, 3-2|
|THU, 3/23||@ Bruins||L, 4-2|
|CANADIENS: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: HABS
It's been a struggle this month for the Canadiens, who are just 2-8-2 in March. Montreal has allowed 53 goals in those 12 games, allowing an average of 4.41 goals per game. The opposition is converting on the power play at an incredible 35.2% rate over that span.
Until this month, the Canadiens were hanging around .500 — vastly improved from last year. And the future looks bright for Montreal, too. Their three leaders in the points category are Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach, and Cole Caufield — and at 23 years old, Suzuki is the old man in that group. They also have Juraj Slafkovsky, the top overall pick in last summer's NHL draft, but went down for the season in January with a knee injury.
- Two former Blue Jackets are on the Habs roster, but only one will be in the lineup Saturday night. Josh Anderson sprained his ankle in Montreal's win Tuesday over the Tampa Bay Lightning and will miss the remainder of the season, but fan-favorite David Savard is expected to be on the ice against his former club Saturday.
TALKING POINTS: CBJ
The Blue Jackets are the best team in the league over the last month on the power-play, and Saturday's match with Montreal gives them an opportunity to face the Canadiens 31st-rated penalty kill. If the Blue Jackets get a pair of man-advantage goals, they'll surpass 20% on the power play and if they can hold that, it will be Columbus' second-best power play in franchise history (they would need to hit 21.8% to set the franchise record).
Give it up for Hunter McKown. The rookie signed with the Blue Jackets earlier this week and picked up his first NHL point in his first NHL game in Friday's win over the Islanders — and got the Kepi for his efforts. Much like with Nick Blankenburg at this stage of the season last year, Columbus may have made a sneaky-good, under-the-radar signing in McKown, who just finished up his collegiate career at Colorado College.
- The win Friday night puts the Blue Jackets out of the basement in the NHL, tied now for the fewest points in the league but with one fewer game played than the team they're tied with, the San Jose Sharks. Whether or not one loves that or hates it is up to them, but late-season success in otherwise lost seasons has hurt the Blue Jackets in the draft order before, and there is generational talent sitting at #1 this summer. Win with caution.
PROJECTED CBJ LINES
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||38||Boone Jenner||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|19||Liam Foudy||96||Jack Roslovic||91||Kent Johnson|
|50||Eric Robinson||7||Sean Kuraly||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|18||Lane Pederson||41||Hunter McKown||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|27||Adam Boqvist||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|75||Tim Berni||2||Andrew Peeke|
|15||Gavin Bayreuther||77||Nick Blankenburg|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||31||Michael Hutchinson|