Game Preview: Blue Jackets Look To Keep The Momentum Going In Detroit

By Ed Francis on January 19, 2021 at 7:05 am
The Blue Jackets broke into the win column Monday. Can they do it again?
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets did not get off to the start they were hoping for in Nashville.

Luckily, the Detroit Red Wings were next on the schedule, and the Blue Jackets capitalized on the opportunity with their first win of the season Monday. Now, they have a chance to offset their 0-2 start with a second consecutive win in the Motor City on Tuesday evening.

1–2–0 (2 points)

7:30 P.M. – TUESDAY, JAN. 19


Winning in Detroit has become nearly automatic for the Blue Jackets. They have won seven straight games against the Red Wings in their home arena, and have picked up points in ten straight games as the road team. Columbus' last regulation loss in Detroit came in October, 2013; their first year as a part of the Metropolitan Division.

The Blue Jackets will look to add to that streak in their second straight night of hockey at Little Caesars Arena, and in the process, make it a perfect since the arenas 2017 opening.

With a pair of games against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning coming Thursday and Saturday, the Blue Jackets will need to play with some sense of urgency. Going .500 through four games is manageable, but a 1-3 start heading into two with the Lightning could spell big trouble in Columbus. 

Columbus Blue Jackets Projected Lines

25 Mikhail Grigorenko 18 Pierre-Luc Dubois 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand
38 Boone Jenner 16 Max Domi 13 Cam Atkinson
71 Nick Foligno 42 Alexandre Texier 19 Liam Foudy
50 Eric Robinson 20 Riley Nash 52 Emil Bemstrom
8 Zach Werenski 3 Seth Jones
44 Vladislav Gavrikov 58 David Savard
15 Michael Del Zotto 14 Dean Kukan
Goalie Backup
70 Elvis Merzlikins 90 Joonas Korpisalo


  • KEEP UP MONDAY'S MO: The Blue Jackets scored just three goals in their first two games of the season combined, but put up that same number in a span of less than 12 minutes Monday. Oliver Bjorkstrand scored on a puck that was originally blocked by Red Wings center Michael Rasmussen late in the 2nd period, Alexandre Texier scored on a well-placed wrap-around early in the third, and Pierre-Luc Dubois got his first of the season less than two minutes later on a breakaway after a fantastic pass off the boards by Mikhail Grigorenko. 
  • PLDRAMA? MAYBE, MAYBE NOT: Dubois third period goal came after playing just one shift in the final seven minutes of the 2nd period. Head coach John Tortorella immediately shot down the idea that the top line center was benched. "Slow down, boys. You'll know when I bench someone," said Tortorella. "I have to make decisions when the game is being played, when I think someone is going at certain times. But don't try to manifest something as far as the benching." Although, as expected, Dubois' name will become synonymous with drama for just about anything following his trade request just weeks ago.
  • LIMIT THE SCORING OPPORTUNITIES: Columbus has allowed exactly 100 shots through the first three games, and at least 30 in each of those games. For a team that prides themselves on defense and will need to win a lot of 2-1 and 3-2 games, they'll need to make life easier on the duo of Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins. Detroit and Nashville are not offensive juggernauts, but have created scoring chances with relative ease thus far. Columbus needs a lockdown game on the defensive end, especially heading into two games in three nights against the dynamic offense of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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