The final game of the road trip brings Columbus Blue Jackets to the nation's capital where they play the Washington Capitals in the Verizon Center.
Tonight, like last game, may come down to a battle of goaltenders- Sergei Bobrovsky against Braden Holtby. Holtby broke out last year with Barry Trotz, and played 61 games last year, coming very (very) close to the Veznia Trophy nomination. This year, Holtby is 5-2-0 with a 2.03 GAA and a 0.903% save percentage. As for Bobs, the 2013 Veznia Trophy winner, is currently 2-6-0 with a 3.99 GAA and a 0.864% save percentage.
This is the first time both teams meet this year, and Washington has had a lot of changes. Last year, they had Eric Fehr (PIT), Joel Ward (SJ), Curtis Glencross (retired), Troy Brouwer (STL), and Mike Green (DET). They added Justin Willams, T.J. Oshie, Sean Collins (ex-CBJ), and Taylor Chorney. This shows this team is moving away from grit and is focusing more on skill. Columbus may need to buckle down defensively to avoid an onslaught of goals.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Dubinsky - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner - William Karlsson - Matt Calvert
Rene Bourque - Gregory Campbell - David Clarkson
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout
Cody Goloubef - Ryan Murray
Scratched: Jared Boll, Kevin Connauton
Injuries: Brandon Saad (illness)
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Justin Williams
Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Brooks Laich - Michael Latta
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner
Dmitry Orlov - Nate Schmidt
Injured: Chris Brown (hand)
Scratched: Chandler Stephenson, Stanislav Galiev, Taylor Chorney
Things to Watch:
1. Cam Atkinson: the Cap killer for Columbus is on the top line tonight, and expect him to perform well with guys he has pretty good chemistry with
2. Evgeny Kuznetsov: the young emerging center is already off to a hot start, and keep an eye on him.
3. Discipline- both teams are teams that take plenty of penalties, and expect them to buckle down early and keep the game tight.
4. Late Goals- both teams like scoring goals late, so stay tuned later in the game to find scoring.
5. Young Forwards- both teams have very young forwards that have contributed, and expect more of it.
Enjoy tonight's games. More to come...