Weekly Report: Blue Jackets Play Three Against Detroit and Nashville
Columbus carries five-game winning streak into tonight's game at Nashville, weekend home-and-home series vs. Detroit
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT - ARENA TIME TV/RADIO
Mon., Apr. 3 at Nashville Predators, Gaylord Entertainment Center 8 p.m.
No TV/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Fri., Apr. 7 at Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena 7:30 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Sat., Apr. 8 vs. Detroit Red Wings, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Times are Eastern; WBNS-AM (1460 the Fan); WWCD-FM (CD101)
THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Apr. 4-10 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – No Practice Scheduled… Wed. – 10:30 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Thu. – 10:30 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Fri. – 11:30 a.m. (Joe Louis Arena, Detroit)… Sat. – 10:30 a.m. *optional (Nationwide Arena)… Sun. – TBA… Mon. – 1 p.m. (American Airlines Center, Dallas)… Practice times are local and subject to change. Practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.
ROSTER & INJURY REPORT: Apr. 3: Added C Dan Fritsche to the roster on emergency recall from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Injuries: RW Nikolai Zherdev (sprained knee, Apr. 1 vs. Chicago) is out indefinitely… C Mike Rupp (irregular heartbeat) is out for the season… D Bryan Berard (lower back injury, Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota) is out for the season.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Nashville Predators – 43-23-8, 94 pts. (2nd, Central Division)… Final of eight meetings this season… Columbus is 10-16-2 in the all-time series, including 3-10-1 mark on the road… Columbus is 2-5-0 this season with both wins coming at Nationwide Arena… Head Coach: Barry Trotz… Players to Watch – LW Paul Kariya (27-48-75, 12 PPG in 74 games)… RW Steve Sullivan (31-37-68, 13 PPG, 5 GWG, 4 SHG in 69 games)… G Chris Mason (6-4-1, 3.12 GAA, .899 SV% in 15 games)… Detroit Red Wings – 51-15-8, 110 pts. (1st, Central Division)… Seventh and eighth of eight meetings this season… Jackets are 5-16-6 in the all-time series, including 2-7-5 at home… Columbus is 1-4-1 this season with a 5-4 come-from-behind win at Detroit in the last meeting on Mar. 25 … Head Coach: Mike Babcock… Players to Watch – C Pavel Datsyuk (28-58-86, 11 PPG, +25 in 74 games)… LW Henrik Zetterberg (36-42-78, 17 PPG, 8 GWG, +23 in 71 games)… G Manny Legace (33-8-3, 2.16 GAA, .915 SV%, 6 SO in 47 games).
WEEK IN REVIEW: Mar. 28 –at Blue Jackets 4, San Jose 1: Rick Nash scored two goals and Marc Denis made 28 saves to lead the Blue Jackets to the win, earning a season series split vs. the Sharks. San Jose took a 1-0 lead after one period on a goal by Steve Bernier before Nash's first of the game at 18:58 of the second period tied the game at 1-1. Nash gave Columbus a 2-1 lead 5:37 into the third and Mark Hartigan made it 3-1 just 1:00 later. David Vyborny collected 0-2-2 and Manny Malhotra added an empty net tally for the Jackets, who went 1-of-2 on the power play and held the Sharks scoreless on five attempts… Mar. 31 – Blue Jackets 4, at St. Louis 2: Columbus again fell behind 1-0 early as Keith Tkachuk scored just 1:13 into the game to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead before the Blue Jackets rallied to hand the Blues their ninth-straight loss. Jaroslav Balastik tied the game at 12:47 of the first period and the Jackets added second period goals by Jason Chimera and Rick Nash and a third period tally by Nash to build a 4-1 lead en route to their fourth-straight win. Pascal Leclaire stopped 28-of-30 shots for Columbus, which killed off all six St. Louis power plays and won despite being out-shot 30 to 20 in the game… Apr. 1 – at Blue Jackets 5, Chicago 2: Columbus tied a franchise record by winning its fifth consecutive game thanks to a three-point performance by Mark Hartigan, who tallied a career-high 2-1-3. After the Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead on a Brandon Bochenski goal at 3:17 of the first period, the Jackets tied the game at 19:10 of the second on a goal by Nikolai Zherdev. Chicago regained the lead on Kyle Calder's goal at 4:16 of the third, but Hartigan scored just :33 later to tie the game at 2-2. Goals by Jaroslav Balastik, Hartigan and David Vyborny (empty net) sealed the win for Columbus. Marc Denis made 27 saves to earn the win in net, while Craig Anderson stopped 19 shots for the Blackhawks. Both teams went 1-of-7 on the power play.
LEADING GOAL SCORER ZHERDEV SIDELINED INDEFINITELY: RW Nikolai Zherdev, who leads the Blue Jackets with 27 goals and ranks second with 54 points, suffered a sprained knee vs. Chicago on Apr. 1 and will be sidelined indefinitely. To take his place in the lineup, Columbus added C Dan Fritsche to the roster on emergency recall.
NASH CONTINUES TO RACK UP GOALS: LW Rick Nash has tallied 9-7-16 in his last 12 games, including a current four-game point streak in which he has 5-2-7, to raise his season totals to 26-20-46 in 46 games. His point production has all come in the last 43 games since he returned from injury on Dec. 17. He also boasts a +2 plus/minus rating this season compared to -35 in 2003-04 and has raised his scoring on the road to 28 points this season from 22 in 2003-04.
HAINSEY MAKING MARK ON BLUELINE: Since being claimed off waivers from Montreal on Nov. 29, D Ron Hainsey has registered 2-15-17 with 43 penalty minutes and a team-leading plus/minus rating of +5. He has collected 2-9-11 in his last 27 games and is +10 over the last 30 outings with an even or plus rating in six consecutive games heading into this week's action.
PLAYER NOTES: RW David Vyborny is riding a four-game point streak (2-4-6)… LW Jaroslav Balastik has tallied 2-1-3 in his last two games… C Mark Hartigan has 3-1-4 in his last three games, including a career-high 2-1-3 vs. Chicago on Apr. 1… D Rostislav Klesla has collected 1-2-3 in his last five games and has registered a career-high 6-11-17 in 46 games this season… LW Jason Chimera has notched 4-5-9 in his last 13 games to increase his career high totals to 16-9-25 in 72 games.
STREAKING JACKETS: Heading into Monday's game at Nashville, the Blue Jackets had tied a franchise record by winning five consecutive games. The streak began with a 3-2 win vs. Calgary on Mar. 24 and includes wins at Detroit (5-4 shootout on Mar. 25), vs. San Jose (4-1 on Mar. 28), at St. Louis (4-2 on Mar. 31) and vs. Chicago (5-2 on Apr. 1). The current streak marks the second time this year the club has won five in a row (Jan. 24 – Feb. 2 over Vancouver, Minnesota, Nashville, Calgary and Edmonton). Prior to this season, the club record for consecutive wins was four (Nov. 9-16, 2000 and Mar. 21-27, 2004).
JACKETS SET FRANCHISE RECORD FOR WINS AND ROAD WINS, TIE MARK FOR HOME WINS: Despite already setting a franchise record for games missed due to injury at 258 with eight games to play (previous high was 213 in 2003-04), the Blue Jackets have set franchise records for wins (31), road wins (11) and tied the club mark for home wins (20). Since Nov. 26, the Blue Jackets have gone 26-22-3, including a 10-13-3 record on the road following a 1-10-0 start. Columbus also boasts a 14-6-0 record in its last 20 games at Nationwide Arena.
JACKETS NHL'S BEST IN OVERCOMING THIRD PERIOD DEFICITS: The Blue Jackets have earned 22 points in games this season in which they trailed in the third period, which leads the NHL (Edmonton Oilers – 21). The club has won 10 games and lost twice in shootouts in games in which they trailed after two periods. In their first four seasons, Columbus won just six times when behind in the third period.
JET AWAY TO THE CUP CONTEST: Fans can register now for a chance to “Jet to the Cup” as the Blue Jackets and Jetride Aircraft Management will provide one winner and three guests private charter jet transportation to a 2006 Stanley Cup Finals game, four tickets to the game and overnight hotel accommodations. Entry forms are available at The Blueline or at Nationwide Arena behind sections 112 or 209 during all remaining home games with online entry at www.mix971.net or www.sportsradio1460.com is available from April 1, 2006 through April 14. Fans can also enter the WBNS 10TV "Watch to Win" contest on Wall to Wall Sports or enter by listening to CD101.1 FM for an on-air contest. Nine contestants will be chosen to participate in an on-ice contest to determine the winner during Fantastic Finale V when the Jackets take on the Dallas Stars on April 18.
JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10-11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.