It's not a must-win game for standings' sake. It's a must-win game for pride's sake.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are fresh off of a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the league's best Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, which solidified even more the whispering rumor.
The Jackets haven't played very well against the best of the best.
The club is in the midst of one of their best starts in franchise history, but with a 7-7 record against teams who are in current playoff positions, it makes sense why there has been a timidity for fans to get too excited.
So, what better way to start silencing doubters than to beat the defending Presidents' Trophy holders? Here's tonight's preview:
Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson
Bjorkstrand – Wennberg – Duclair
Foligno – Jenner – Anderson
Robinson – Sedlak – Nash
Werenski – Jones
Murray – Nutivaara
Harrington – Savard
- Blue Jackets' captain Nick Foligno had missed the last four games to be present with his 5-year-old daughter, Milana, as she recovers from a heart procedure, but is expected to return to the lineup tonight. The report on Milana's surgery is that it went well and she is continuing in her recovery.
- The already-slim forward depth for the Jackets is quickly depleting - Markus Hannikainen (upper body) and Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) left during Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and did not return to action. Their status for tonight's game is to be determined, but Lukas Sedlak and Nick Foligno are likely to the replacements should they both be out.
- The Nashville Predators have been a force to reckon with in the Western Conference this season - their 26-15-3 record is good for a close second in the Central Division. Their defense has been lockdown, as they are ranked first in the NHL with only 109 goals against, under 2.5 per game.
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