The Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-3) ran into the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning last night, losing 5-1 in front of a home crowd at Nationwide Arena. Tonight the’ll look to rid the taste of defeat north of the border, matching up against the Montreal Canadiens (31-21-7). Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:30 PM ET.
The Jackets won’t have much time to think about what happened last night against the Bolts, with a huge matchup between two 69-point teams tonight forcing the team to turn the page.
Sergei Bobrovsky had started six consecutive games before Joonas Korpisalo got the nod last night. Bob went 5-1-0 in those six starts and will look to help improve upon the 18-9-1 road record for Columbus.
While nothing is confirmed, it seems Tortorella knew the game was out of hand last night in the third, with all top-line skaters getting less than 18 minutes of ice time. Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson registered zero points last night, which could serve as a nice motivator for that bunch to step up tonight.
It’s worth noting that Columbus will be without defenseman Ryan Murray for at least the next two games due to an upper-body injury. Murray’s productivity seemed to be at an all-time high before the injury. He recorded three assists against the Blackhawks on Saturday night before being injured with less than four minutes of ice time on Monday.
The CBJ are only two games above .500 in their home building, but have thrived on the road. Tonight’s game may look tough on paper, but the Jackets seem to answer more times than not in pivotal road games this season.
We’ll see if Columbus can get things going again, or another loss would only heighten the trade talks. There’s plenty on the line tonight. Let’s drop the puck already…