Game Preview: After a Hard Luck Loss to the Canadiens Blue Jackets Need the Bounces to Go Their Way Against the Wild

By Paul Berthelot on January 18, 2019 at 11:05 pm
Zach Werenski and Markus Granlund chase after a puck as the Columbus Blue Jackets play the Minnesota Wild

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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The Columbus Blue Jackets four-game winning streak came to a screeching halt last night against the Montreal Canadiens. They'll look to start a new one tonight when they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

The Wild currently sit in the second wild card spot in the Western Conference with 49 points. The strength of their team is in their defense, as they sit in the top 10 for fewest goals against. Their penalty kill is strong, ranking second in the league at

Unfortunately, that defense can't mask inability to score, as has been the case in recent years. If the Blue Jackets can get some better puck luck tonight after hitting the post a few times last night, they should be able to pull away tonight. 

The Blue Jackets need to keep the game at 5 on 5. Their power play, which has been better of late, could struggle against Minnesota's strong penalty kill unit. Columbus does have more skill on paper, though, and should be able to keep possession of the puck all night. 


PROJECTED LINES:

Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson

Dubinsky – Wennberg – Stenlund

Foligno – Jenner – Anderson

Sedlak – Nash – Bjorkstrand

DEFENSEMEN:

Werenski – Jones

Murray – Nutivaara

Harrington – Savard

GOALTENDER:

Bobrovsky

Storylines

  • Sergei Bobrovsky should be getting the start in net tonight, and he has owned the Wild in his career. Bobrovsky has a lifetime .937 save percentage against the Wild. That is his third highest save percentage against a single opponent, trailing only the .940 mark he has against the Florida Panthers and the .947 he has against the Dallas Stars. He hasn't been great lately, but tonight represents a prime chance for Bobrovsky to bounce back.
  • With the Wild looking for goals, they made a trade shipping out the perceived underperformer Nino Niederreiter to Carolina for Victor Rask. Rask is a player the Blue Jackets are very familiar with as he spent the last five seasons playing in the division with Carolina. Rask has played well against Columbus with nine points in 15 career games against them. This will be Rask’s Wild debut.

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