The Warmup: Get Ready for the Blue Jackets' Road Trip Finale Against the Sabres

By 1OB Staff on November 22, 2021 at 4:55 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (44) pins Buffalo Sabres left wing Victor Olofsson (68) on the boards as he goes for the puck during the second period at KeyBank Center.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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 Sabres meet for the first time this season on Monday night at KeyBank Center.

The Blue Jackets coughed one up on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena–there's no other way to put it. After taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, the Vegas Golden Knights took over the game. Columbus went nearly half of the third period before registering a shot against Laurent Brossoit. The end result was a 3-2 loss, and one that felt (rightfully so) as though it got away.


Where to watch, listen and stream tonight's game...

WHO: Blue Jackets (9-6-0) vs. Sabres (7-8-2)

WHERE: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY

WHEN: 7 p.m. ET

TV: Bally Sports Columbus (Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley)

RADIO: 105.7 FM (Bob McElligott, Dylan Tyrer)

STREAM: ESPN+ (out of market only)


Perhaps a bit of a surprise, but the Blue Jackets have been a solid road team in the early part of 2021-22. They won in Arizona–a nail-biter, nonetheless–and should have earned at least a point Saturday night. Columbus has another chance to win two of three on a road trip when they visit the Sabres tonight.

Now's the time for the Blue Jackets to jump the Sabres, who lost a heartbreaker on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, yielding the game-winning goal to the Rangers with less than a second remaining in regulation. It was a gut punch for Buffalo. After a strong start, the Sabres have slipped in the last few weeks, but they're still an up-and-coming team that can score goals. 

ALL-TIME: The Blue Jackets are 20-12-3 in 35 regular-season meetings with the Sabres, including a 10-7-2 record on the road. The Blue Jackets have earned points in the last four meetings (2-0-2) against Buffalo, and 10 of the past 13 games of the series dating back to Apr. 8, 2016 (8-3-2).


What do the Blue Jackets need to do to win tonight? We're glad you asked.

  • Right Back at It: Both teams are coming off tough results, but the Sabres had to fly home last night with the weight of a last-second heartbreaker on their minds. Does that favor the Blue Jackets, who had a day off Sunday, or the Sabres? You'd think Columbus is in a good spot to start quickly and dictate the game. 
  • Support Your Goalie: While Elvis Merzlikins has gotten the bulk of the workload so far, Joonas Korpisalo hasn't exactly been awful, either. What he's suffered from, among other things, is a lack of defensive support; some of Columbus' worst defensive efforts this season have come with Korpisalo in net. That's something to look at when the puck drops tonight.
  • Head Home with 2: Whatever it takes tonight, just find a way. Many of the Blue Jackets' nine wins in their first 15 games haven't been masterpieces, but they've shown they can control a game or rally for a goal or two when they need. Tonight, the focus has to be on heading back to Columbus with two points to generate some momentum heading into a busy four-game week, including two games at Nationwide Arena against Western Conference opponents.

From Zach Werenski...