What a wild one in store tonight for the Blue Jackets as they host the Minnesota Wild at Nationwide Arena. The Wild last played Sunday in Sunrise, and falling victim to the red hot Florida Panthers. The Jackets last played Saturday, upsetting the Meto leading Capitals.
The Wild's leading point scorer is their assist leader and number one center- Mikko Koivu (32 points- 10 goals, 22 assists). Thomas Vanek leads their team in goals with 12. Marco Scandella leads their team in plus/minus with a +11. Devan Dubynk leads their team in goals against, save percentage, wins and shutouts- 16 wins; 4 shutouts; 2.29 GA; 0.921 SV%.
For Columbus, their leading point scorer is their goal scorer and their big summer acquisition- Brandon Saad (29 points- 16 goals, 13 assists). Ryan Johansen leads this squad in assists with 20. The plus/minus leader with a +10 is Kevin Connuaton. Sergei Bobrovsky leads this team in all categories- goals against (2.52 GAA) save percentage (0.911 SV%), wins (11) and shutouts (1).
In terms of tonight's lineups:
Minnesota recalled former Ohio State Buckeye Tyson Strachan from the Iowa Wild over the weekend. With Kuemper still out with an injury, Nicklas Backstrom is backing up Duber tonight.
For Columbus, Ryan Johansen is on the third line; Jared Boll is in for David Clarkson; Cody Goloubef is back after recovering from a broken jaw; and Anton Forsberg is back between the pipes for Columbus.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Brandon Saad
Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - Gregory Campbell
Rene Bourque - William Karlsson - Jared Boll
Ryan Murray - David Savard
Jack Johnson - Cody Goloubef
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout
Injured: Markus Hannikainen (shoulder), Matt Calvert (knee), Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), David Clarkson (upper body), Curtis McElhinney (ankle)
Scratched: Justin Falk, Kevin Connauton
Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu – Thomas Vanek
Nino Niederreiter - Mikael Granlund - Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville
Chris Porter - Jarret Stoll - Justin Fontaine
Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon
Marco Scandella - Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin - Nate Prosser
Injured: Darcy Kuemper (undisclosed), Ryan Carter (hand)
Scratched: Tyson Strachan
Players to Watch
Minnesota: Jason Zucker. He is a young talented forward that is a clutch goal scorer, especially in big moments like the playoffs and highlight reels. Even though he has gone cold lately, he does have 10 goals this year.
Columbus: Nick Foligno. After a slow start, he has 7 points in his last 5 games, and 23 in 37 this season. He and line mate Ryan Johansen need to step up in order to get this team back into the promise land.
More to come…