The Blue Jackets needed to see Joonas Korpisalo step up and play a strong game. On Tuesday night in Winnipeg, he delivered. Now, the net goes back to the unbeaten Sergei Bobrovsky for an intriguing showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tampa sits one point back of division-leading Toronto for best record in the East, while the Blue Jackets (5-1-0) are one point off the Lightning's early-season pace (5-1-1). In his morning press conference, John Tortorella said the Blue Jackets will deploy the same lineup used in Tuesday's win, which means Markus Nutivaara remains on the third defense pairing with Ryan Murray.
Boone Jenner (back injury) remains out of the lineup and is listed as day-to-day.
John Tortorella Pre-Game
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
|9||Artemi Panarin||6 GP, 1-7-8||10||Alexander Wennberg||6 GP, 1-5-6||13||Cam Atkinson||6 GP, 3-0-3|
|11||Matt Calvert||6 GP, 0-2-2||71||Nick Foligno||6 GP, 1-4-5||28||Oliver Bjorkstrand||6 GP, 0-3-3|
|22||Sonny Milano||6 GP, 4-0-4||17||Brandon Dubinsky||6 GP, 0-1-1||77||Josh Anderson||4 GP, 1-1-2|
|18||Pierre-Luc Dubois||6 GP, 1-0-1||45||Lukas Sedlak||6 GP, 2-0-2||36||Zac Dalpe||5 GP, 0-0-0|
|8||Zach Werenski||6 GP, 3-2-5||3||Seth Jones||6 GP, 1-4-5|
|7||Jack Johnson||6 GP, 1-1-2||58||David Savard||6 GP, 1-1-2|
|27||Ryan Murray||6 GP, 1-1-2||65||Markus Nutivaara||1 GP, 0-0-0|
- If It Ain't Broke: John Tortorella has openly chided himself for breaking up the Blue Jackets' lines too early in games, particularly when the offense doesn't appear to be going well. Thanks to some recent success, he is going to try and develop continuity and keep the current groups together. The same four lines and three defense pairs will begin the game tonight against Tampa.
- Power Play: Sooner or later, something's got to break with the Blue Jackets' power play. They've gone 0-fer since Zach Werenski's tally on opening night, but have gotten more (and better) chances in the last few games. Assistant coach Brad Larsen has preached a shooting mentality for his group, which simply possesses too much talent to not be scoring goals.
- Early Test: We're seven games into a marathon season, but coaches love when their teams get tested early in the season. This game tonight is one of those; the Lightning come in playing well and have plenty of confidence, a feeling that stems from their No. 1 goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Nikita Kucherov has scored in each of the Lightning's first seven games, becoming the first NHL player to do so since Mario Lemieux in 1992-93.