Features

PRE GAME: vs. Nashville

Suter out for Nashville and Jackets must get traffic in front of Rinne

Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 4:15 PM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

TONIGHT'S LINEUP

Mason

The Blue Jackets are expected to go with the same lineup that earned them a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. There is, however, going to be one change and that is between the pipes: Steve Mason makes his first start in five games tonight vs. the Nashville Predators and he’s got solid career numbers against them. In 14 games, Mason is 5-5-4 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz confirmed defenseman Ryan Suter will not play for the Predators tonight. Pekka Rinne is the anticipated starter in goal.

Here is the projected Predators' lineup for tonight’s game at Nationwide Arena:

LW C RW
Wilson Legwand Hornqvist
Kostitsyn Fisher Erat
Bourque Spaling Tootoo
Halischuk Smith McGrattan
LD RD
Bouillon Weber
Josi Klein
Ellis Hillen
G
Rinne
Lindback
3 KEYS
  1. The full 60 minutes: You won't need to remind the Blue Jackets about this key to tonight's game, as the Predators have erased two multiple-goal deficits in the last two meetings. Columbus needs to play a steady game from start-to-finish, much like Friday vs. Phoenix, to come away with two points tonight.
  2. Traffic in front of Rinne: If the Predators superstar goalie has one flaw, it may be that he occasionally has difficulty tracking shots through bodies. The Blue Jackets’ ability to get quality shots on goal with traffic is going to be key to their success in this game.
  3. Win the specialty teams battle: with a guy like Shea Weber patrolling the blue line, it's imperative for the Blue Jackets to stay disciplined and not give Nashville any added momentum via power plays. Playing the game at even strength has benefited the Blue Jackets of late and that is especially true when playing the Predators.

QUOTABLES
Richards on the close games with the Predators this season:
"They play a certain way, and we expect a tough game tonight. You take it personally when you have leads like that, and there's a collapse. People outside the locker room are pointing fingers at the coaches and pointing fingers at the players. I hope they take it as an insult that this happened and shouldn't have happened."

Trotz, on playing the Blue Jackets: "I don't worry about Columbus' emotions, I worry about where we are. They play well against us, we have a good rivalry between the two teams. We don't like each other… I get along with Todd Richards, but the teams really don't like each other."

AT THE ARENA VS. NASHVILLE
Here are some tips for fans attending the game at Nationwide Arena tonight:

• Doors will open tonight at 6:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. puck drop.

•The Blue Jackets take the ice around 6:30 p.m. for pre-game warm-ups. Interested in their pre-game play list? Check out the scoreboard or follow @CBJ_DJ on twitter.

•It’s an OhioHealth Awareness night tonight. Look for their in-game messaging about winter wellness, get a free commemorative photo at the “We Stick Together” backdrop, and a fingerless glove giveaway to 500 lucky fans. And don’t forget to check your cup stuffer for info about skating at OhioHealth Chillers.

• Win a trip to see Ryan Johansen at the 2012 NHL All-Star game. Stop by the R Bar in the Arena District after the game for your chance to enter a raffle to win an all-inclusive trip. Proceeds benefit the Blue Jackets Foundation.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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