The Columbus Blue Jackets (36-28-5) will be playing their fourth consecutive game at Nationwide Arena tonight, hosting the Montreal Canadiens (25-31-12). The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
The playoffs in the National Hockey League don’t start for another four weeks, but it’s impossible not to notice the magnitude of every game as the Columbus Blue Jackets attempt to put themselves in a position to compete for the Stanley Cup.
Tonight’s opponent is the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal is winless in their last four contests, while the CBJ head into tonight’s game winners of their last four.
With CBJ players admittedly checking scores and keeping tabs on the other teams near them in the standings, it’s pivotal for the Jackets to keep an even-keel approach tonight.
While the Jackets find themselves on a bit of a hot streak, they’re still dead last in the league when it comes to power-play percentage. On any night, a subpar power play combined with too many penalties can lead to disaster on the scoreboard.
Although the power play hasn’t been anything special; Artemi Panarin has proved to be a clutch acquisition to Columbus. Panarin leads the team in both goals (21) and assists (39).
The play of defenseman Seth Jones has been off the charts the past two games for the CBJ. Jones scored in overtime on Thursday to seal a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche and followed that performance up with a two-goal night against the Red Wings in a 3-2 victory.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will go for their fifth consecutive win this evening, while the Montreal Canadiens will look to put an end to a four-game losing streak.