The Columbus Blue Jackets (44-29-6) only have three games remaining in the 2017-18 Regular Season. Tonight they’ll be hosting the Detroit Red Wings (30-38-11) at Nationwide Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
If the CBJ win out without any games going to a shootout, they’re guaranteed to have home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
While the potential reward is huge, along with it comes plenty of added pressure that could make or break the team’s performance tonight. How Columbus reacts will be interesting to see.
Detroit comes into today winners of their last three games. Although the Wings have won three in a row, their only road victory during the string of wins came against Buffalo, a team with the lowest number of points in the National Hockey League. Before the 6-3 road victory against the Sabres last Thursday, Detroit had lost their previous 11 games away from home.
Despite losing to the Canucks 5-4 in overtime on Saturday afternoon, the Jackets’ performance was highlighted by a furious comeback in the final few minutes to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 4-4 tie. Columbus has been getting hot at the right time, with a record of 12-1-1 in their last 14 games.
The Blue Jackets have scored four or more goals in regulation during 11 of the previous 14 matchups. Before that, the CBJ had scored 4+ goals in regulation in only 11 of the 52 prior games.
The key to tonight’s game for Columbus will be getting on the board early. If the team can get some momentum from the get-go, it’ll ignite the crowd and ease the tension.
The CBJ will look to stay hot, while Detroit will try to add an impressive road victory to their season resume.