Welcome back to The Warmup.
Here, you'll get everything you need to know – including keys to the game, where to watch and listen, and more – before the Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche meet for the second time this week, this time at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets picked up a 5-4 overtime win on Wednesday night at Ball Arena in Denver.
Where to watch, listen and stream tonight's game...
WHO: Blue Jackets (6-3-0) vs. Avalanche (4-4-1)
WHERE: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
WHEN: 7 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Columbus (Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley)
RADIO: 97.1 FM (Bob McElligott, Dylan Tyrer)
STREAM: ESPN+ (out of market only)
Columbus won its second consecutive road games to polish off a solid three-game trip, rallying in overtime after blowing a two-goal lead with about four minutes left on Wednesday. JT Compher and Bowen Byram scored late goals for the Avalanche to tie the game, 4-4, before Jake Bean scored the game-winner only 1:12 into the 3-on-3 session.
Joonas Korpisalo went 2-0-0 on the trip and has played better of late, despite giving up seven goals in the two wins. The Blue Jackets may have the beginnings of a competition between the pipes, at least in the eyes of the coaching staff – despite Elvis Merzlikins owning better numbers in his five starts.
Patrik Laine was placed on injured reserve Friday with an oblique strain, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Based on how the Blue Jackets skated in practice, it appears rookie Yegor Chinakhov will get an opportunity on the top line with Cole Sillinger and Jake Voracek.
ALL-TIME: The Blue Jackets are 21-35-6 against the Avalanche in 52 meetings, and have won just their 11th road game in the all-time series on Wednesday night. Colorado won the previous meeting in Columbus, 2-1, in Feb. 2020.
KEYS TO THE GAME
What do the Blue Jackets need to do to win tonight? We're glad you asked.
- Sustain Momentum: Losing Laine for an extended period just plain stinks, but the Blue Jackets have to keep moving forward. There are two ways to look at it – lamenting the absence of your best pure goal scorer, or being excited about the role Chinakhov figures to step into. With six wins in their first nine games, Columbus has been relying on depth and it'll be needed to keep the train rolling.
- Defend Home Ice: The Blue Jackets have been killers at Nationwide Arena, with a 4-1-0 home record in the early going. They've played with confidence and plenty of energy, aside from one quasi-stinker against the Carolina Hurricanes. If they're going to surprise people in 2021-22, feasting at home is critical.
- Let The Kids Run: Cole Sillinger channeled his inner Baker Mayfield and planted his flag in Denver on Wednesday, cementing his status as a full-time NHL player. The Blue Jackets informed him on Tuesday that he'd be sticking with the big club for the season, but a performance like he turned in (two goals, one assist) included flashes of the dynamic player he can be.
From the head coach...