The Columbus Blue Jackets (17-12-2) and Anaheim Ducks (17-11-5) will face off tonight in Columbus in a matchup between two clubs in opposite conferences, separated by three points (39 for Anaheim & 36 for Columbus). Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
The Anaheim Ducks enter tonight’s matchup hot, winners of nine of their last 11 games. Tonight will be their first of six straight road games for the Ducks, who are an even 7-7-0 away from home this season.
The CBJ have been scuffling a bit lately, losing four of their last six games. Despite the recent struggles, the Jackets have held onto second place in the division.
On Thursday, the Blue Jackets played their best game in a while, defeating the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-1. Artemi Panarin registered a pair of goals in his second multi-goal effort of the season – his first since the end of October.
In their last matchup on November 4th, the Ducks won in overtime as defenseman Cam Fowler registered a hat trick in their 3-2 victory. Unfortunately for Anaheim, Fowler’s missed their last 14 games and figures to miss at least the beginning of their road trip.
That game for the CBJ seemed to get things heading in the right direction. They had been going up and down for some time, just like they are now, then they went 5-0-1 in their next six contests.
The Jackets will begin the second half of their six game homestand tonight, looking to keep things rolling in the right direction after having a rough start to the month of December. Perhaps a matchup with the Ducks will bring the CBJ some fortune yet again…