The Blue Jackets have played exceedingly well as of late, as exemplified by their recent Western Conference road trip in which they secured 6 out of a possible 8 points.
27–8–11 (65 points)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7 P.M. – THURSDAY, JANUARY 14
FOX SPORTS OHIO
FOX SPORTS GO
The Columbus clubs' recent success has been due to several factors. While several veteran players remain out of the lineup, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins has been spectacular in net, call-ups from Cleveland have battled hard, and the team has found a defensive cohesiveness. The Blue Jackets will look to continue this solid play as they begin a 3-game homestand tonight against the Boston Bruins.
The Boston Bruins are currently in the midst of another successful season. They sit at the top of the competitive Atlantic Division and are tied with the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues for the overall NHL lead in points.
The Bruins' successful season has resulted from excellent performances from their star players. Both on their way to career-highs, David Pastrnak is on pace to score over 60 goals this season and Brad Marchand has scored at a 110-point rate. The goaltending tandem of Tuuka Rask and Jaroslav Halak has also been very solid.
With Boston's high-powered offense and a stout defense, the Blue Jackets will have a definitive challenge to their recent successful ways.
Here's a look at tonight's projected lines for the Blue Jackets:
- Elvis is Back in the Building. Elvis Merzlikins, after the recent road trip, now sports the fantastic stat line of a .943 save percentage and a 1.88 goals-against average since he took over the starter's net with Korpisalo's injury. Despite the recent success, tonight's contest will only be his second ever start in Nationwide Arena, as he was a road-trip exclusive before taking over the number one spot on December 29th.
- Home Sweet Home. The Blue Jackets haven't yet played a game in Nationwide Arena in the new decade, their last home contest coming on New Year's Eve against the Florida Panthers. The Blue Jackets have faired well in Columbus so far this season, having a record of 12-9-2 in Nationwide Arena.
- PLD Gettin' Hot. Pierre-Luc Dubois has 6 points in the last 4 games and was one of the best Blue Jacket forwards during the 4-game, Western road trip. This performance is great news to a team that needs its first-line center to be competitive in the playoff race. The 21-year-old center will look to continue this high-end play in the season's second half.
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