The Columbus Blue Jackets look to extend their winning streak against the Winnipeg Jets in their final game before the NHL-mandated bye week and All-Star break.
25–21–4 (54 points)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7:30 P.M. – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22
FOX SPORTS OHIO
FOX SPORTS GO
The Jets are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, and it was Winnipeg's fifth loss in its last six games.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets have had the last two days off to rest and prepare for tonight's battle – which will be a point of emphasis for John Tortorella. The Blue Jackets have not had great starts in their last three games but they've been quite fortunate to come away with three wins. Most recently, the Blue Jackets stole one from the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, getting two third-period goals from Oliver Bjorkstrand (including the game-winner with 26.5 seconds left in regulation) to get the full two points and sweep the weekend.
Rest is important throughout the season, but the Blue Jackets will need to make sure they are ready for puck drop and not allow the Jets to get an early advantage. Especially since Tortorella has not been impressed with their starts of late and the Jets will be a desperate team trying to salvage something on their trip.
Here's a look at tonight's projected lines for the Blue Jackets:
- Winning streak. The Blue Jackets tied their longest winning streak of the season (5) with their dramatic late-game victory over the Rangers on Sunday night, which has helped propel them into a wild card position. It's been a team effort for Columbus to string wins together and two different goaltenders have recorded wins.
- Finding a way. Tortorella has not been thrilled with the Blue Jackets' play over the last few games, but in all three games, Columbus has found a way to overcome some struggles and get two points. This seems to be the mantra for the Blue Jackets this season due to a barrage of injuries – find a way.
- Between the Pipes. The Jackets gave Elvis Merzlikins a much-needed respite on Sunday after making the last 10 consecutive starts. In stepped young Latvian Matiss Kivlenieks, who made 31 saves against the Rangers to grab his first career win. Columbus will return to Merzlikins, the NHL's No. 2 star of the week, in their final game before a 10-day hiatus.