Weekly Report: Blue Jackets Host Coyotes and Kings, Play Home-and-Home Set with Blues
After two road wins last week, Columbus plays three of its four games this week at Nationwide Arena
THIS WEEK’S GAME SCHEDULE/BROADCASTS (Times ET)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 vs. PHOENIX COYOTES, NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan
Thursday, Mar. 8 vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS, NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan
Saturday, Mar. 10 at St. Louis Blues, Scottrade Center, 8 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan
Sunday, Mar. 11 vs. ST. LOUIS BLUES, NATIONWIDE ARENA, 6 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/WWCD-Radio 102.5 FM
BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE
Record: 20-38-7, 47 pts. (11-18-3, 25 pts. at home, 9-20-4, 22 pts. on the road)… Standings: 5th/Central Division… 15th/Western Conference… Leading Scorers: RW Rick Nash (24-23-47, 65 GP)… LW Vinny Prospal (11-30-41, 65 GP)… Goaltenders: Curtis Sanford (10-15-4, 2.66 GAA, .911 SV%, 1 SO in 31 GP)… Steve Mason (10-22-3, 3.34 GAA, .891 SV%, 1 SO in 36 GP).
OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
PHOENIX COYOTES – Head Coach: Dave Tippett… Record: 33-23-9, 75 pts… Standings: 1st/Pacific Division… 3rd/Western Conference… Club has lost two-straight after a 12-game regulation unbeaten streak (11-0-1)… Leading Scorer: LW Ray Whitney (20-39-59, 65 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Mike Smith (29-16-7, 2.29 GAA, .925 SV%, 4 SO in 52 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 15-21-6, including 9-10-2 at home… Blue Jackets went 1-3-0 in 2010-11… This Season: Third of four meetings… The Jackets won 4-3 at home on Jan. 13 and 5-2 at Phoenix on Mar. 3… Next game is Apr. 3 at Phoenix.
LOS ANGELES KINGS – Head Coach: Darryl Sutter… Record: 30-23-12, 72 pts… Standings: 4th/Pacific Division… 9th/Western Conference… The Kings rank third in the NHL in goals-against (2.03) and 29th in scoring (2.12)… Leading Scorer: C Anze Kopitar (19-36-55, 65 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Jonathan Quick (26-18-11, 1.92 GAA, .932 SV%, 7 SO in 55 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 19-21-3, including an 11-8-2 at home… This Season: Final of four meetings… L.A. won 2-1 at Nationwide Arena on Dec. 15 and 3-2 at STAPLES Center on Feb. 1, while Columbus won 1-0 at STAPLES Center on Jan. 7.
ST. LOUIS BLUES – Head Coach: Ken Hitchcock… Record: 41-18-7, 89 pts… Standings: 1st/Central Division… 2nd/Western Conference… NHL’s top defensive club, allowing 1.89 goals-against per game… Leading Scorer: RW T.J. Oshie (16-30-46, 64 GP)… Leading Goaltenders: Jaroslav Halak (21-10-5, 1.91 GAA, .925 SV%, 6 SO in 37 GP)… Brian Elliott (20-8-2, 1.63 GAA, .937 SV%, 6 SO in 31 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 24-29-13, including 16-11-6 at home… Columbus went 2-2-2 in 2010-11 with four of the six games decided by three or more goals… This Season: Fourth and fifth of six meetings… Blues won 2-1 at Columbus on Nov. 27 and 6-4 at home on Dec. 18, while Columbus won 2-1 at home on Feb. 14… Next game is Mar. 31 at St. Louis.
No Transactions last week.
OhioHEALTH INJURY REPORT
D Radek Martinek (post-concussion symptoms, Oct. 22 at Detroit) will miss the rest of the 2011-12 season… D Marc Methot (broken jaw, Feb. 9 vs. Dallas) is out indefinitely… LW Kristian Huselius (lower body, Dec. 6 at Montreal) is week-to-week… LW Jared Boll (foot, Feb. 9 vs. Dallas) is week-to-week… Games Missed to Injury: 297.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Feb. 28 – Detroit 5, at BLUE JACKETS 2: The Red Wings overcame a 2-1 deficit early in the third period, scoring the game’s final four goals to earn the win. Detroit took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Johan Franzen 4:08 into the game before Columbus equalized on a power play goal by Rick Nash just 2:47 later. Following a scoreless second period, Derek MacKenzie’s shorthanded goal gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead at 2:13 of the third before the Wings scored three times in a span of 5:32 to put the game away. Niklas Kronwall tallied 1-2-3 and Joey MacDonald made 28 saves to lead Detroit. Curtis Sanford made 20 saves in net for Columbus… Mar. 1 – BLUE JACKETS 2, at Colorado 0: Steve Mason made 33 saves to record his first shutout of the season as the Jackets picked up their first win at Pepsi Center since winning twice there in 2008-09. Nikita Nikitin scored a power play goal at 12:53 of the first period and Fedor Tyutin added a goal at 15:11 of the second for the Jackets. Tyutin tallied 1-1-2 and Vinny Prospal collected 0-2-2 for Columbus. The Jackets went 1-of-2 on the power play and killed off both Avalanche power play attempts… Mar. 3 – BLUE JACKETS 5, at Phoenix 2: The Blue Jackets broke open a 2-2 game with three third period goals to hand the Coyotes their second regulation loss in the last 14 games. Rick Nash tallied 2-1-3, Derek Brassard added 1-1-2 and Steve Mason made 30 saves to lead Columbus to the win. Nash’s goals paced the Jackets to a 2-0 lead early in the second period before Phoenix countered with goals by Ray Whitney and Lauri Korpikoski to tie the game at 2-2. Nikita Nikitin tallied the eventual game-winner at 9:12 of the third and goals by Brassard and Colton Gillies (empty net) rounded out the scoring.
SEVERAL FORMER JACKETS RETURN TO COLUMBUS THIS WEEK
This week’s schedule has several former Blue Jackets returning to Nationwide Arena this week to face their former club. Among the former Jackets returning are: F Ray Whitney, F Antoine Vermette, F Raffi Torres, F Gilbert Brule and D Rostislav Klesla (Phoenix on Tuesday); F Jeff Carter (Los Angeles on Thursday); and D Kris Russell, Head Coach Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis on Sunday).
The Blue Jackets have gone 7-6-1 in their last 14 games and enter the week having won their last two games… Columbus has gone 4-1-1 in its last six road games dating back to Feb. 3, outscoring its opponents 17 to 12 during that span… The Blue Jackets have converted 14-of-56 on the power play (25.0 pct.) in their last 14 games, scoring at least one goal in 10 of those games.… Columbus has scored seven shorthanded goals this season, including three in the last four games, and is tied for fifth in the NHL in that category… A total of 29 players have scored at least one goal for the Blue Jackets this season, which is the most in the NHL and a franchise record (previous mark of 28 set last season and 2003-04).
NASH STAYS HOT
RW Rick Nash tallied 2-1-3 at Phoenix on Mar. 3 to give him 7-7-14 in his last 14 games and 12-8-20 in his last 25 with goals in five of his last seven outings.. He has scored shorthanded goals in two of the last four games after going 205 games without one (had shorthanded goals in back-to-back games Oct. 17-20, 2009). He leads the club in scoring with 24-23-47 in 65 games and is on pace to hit the 30-goal mark for the fifth-straight season.
NIKITIN SCORES GAME-WINNER IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
D Nikita Nikitin has goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his NHL career after scoring his fourth of the season at Phoenix on Mar. 3. The goal was the game-winner, giving him game-winning goals in back-to-back games (Mar. 1 at Colorado). Nikitin is the third NHL defenseman to score the deciding goal in back-to-back games this season (Trevor Daley, Dallas – Dec. 10 and 13; Jay Harrison, Carolina – Jan. 12 and 14). He has goals in three of the last seven games after being held goalless the previous 20 games and has points in eight of the last 11 outings (2-6-8). He has set career highs in goals (4), assists (18), points (22) and games played (44) this season.
MASON PICKS UP SHUTOUT, IMPROVES TO 5-3-1 IN LAST EIGHT STARTS
G Steve Mason made 33 saves at Colorado on Mar. 1 to post his first shutout since Feb. 22, 2011, a span of 49 games. He stopped 30-of-32 shots at Phoenix on Mar. 3 and has now gone 5-3-1 his last eight starts after going 1-7-1 the previous nine. He has also made 30 or more saves in eight of his last 10 starts. In his last five wins, he has posted a 1.40 goals-against average and .960 save percentage. The win against the Coyotes was the 87th of his career, which is the most in franchise history.
C Derick Brassard is riding a three-game points streak (1-3-4) and has recorded 10-15-25 the last 33 games after being held to 2-3-5 the first 24 games of the season… LW R.J. Umberger, who has 7-12-19 in his last 34 games, collected 0-1-1 at Phoenix on Mar. 3 to record the 300th point of his NHL career in his 534th game… LW Vinny Prospal has collected 2-9-11 in his last 15 games to raise his season totals to 11-30-41 in 65 outings. He leads the club in assists and ranks second in points… D Fedor Tyutin has three multi-point games in his last 11 outings (1-1-2 at Colorado on Mar. 1) compared to one in his previous 38 games… D Jack Johnson registered his first point as a Blue Jacket with 0-1-1 at Phoenix on Mar. 3… C Derek Mackenzie had a three hits vs. Phoenix on Mar. 3 to push his season total to 189, which ranks 15th in the NHL.
Tuesday, Mar. 6 vs. Phoenix – $10,000 TUESDAYS – A total of $10,000 in prizes will be given away each Tuesday home game for the remainder of the season. This week’s prize is big screen TVs.
Sunday, Mar. 11 vs. St. Louis - DISPATCH FAMILY VALUE PACK – Fans receive a game ticket, hot dog, Pepsi, popcorn, UDF ice cream cone coupon and OhioHealth Ice Haus Skate Pass. Packages start at $25 per person, which is a savings of 50%, and lower level packages are available starting at $59 per person… LABATT BLUE ZONE HAT TRICK COMBO – Get a Lower Level ticket, a pre-game buffet and a post-game drink in the Labatt Blue Zone Pub for just $55 per person… COLUMBUS ZOO NIGHT featuring appearances by zoo animal friends and character ambassadors.
SPECIAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY JERSEYS RETURN THURSDAY
The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation will once again host a special auction featuring a full team set of authentic, green practice jerseys adorned with a Shamrock patch in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day. Blue Jackets players will wear the jerseys during pre-game warm-ups on Thursday, Mar. 8 preceding the game against the Los Angeles Kings. Proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit the team’s charitable foundation. Fans may bid on individual practice-worn jerseys at the Bud Light Terrace display located behind section 115 during Thursday’s game and on Sunday when the Jackets host St. Louis. All jerseys will have a starting bid of $150 with bids being accepted through the end of the second intermission of Sunday’s game.
WIN WITH WHITE CASTLE
Customers who make a purchase at a participating central Ohio White Castle location will receive their receipt with a special web link at the bottom – www.BlueJackets.com/WhiteCastle. Fans who visit the site will receive a White Castle coupon and have the chance to win two tickets to an upcoming Blue Jackets home game.
PAPA JOHN’S FUTURE JACKETS
Coaches and parents are encouraged to enter to win the opportunity of a lifetime for their mini-mite, mite or squirt hockey team. The Future Jackets presented by Papa John’s gives teams the chance to play during an intermission at select Blue Jackets home games. Winners receive 50 game tickets, gift bags and T-shirts and entry can be found at www.BlueJackets.com/PapasFutureJackets.
PAPA JOHN’S MONDAYS
Fans get free toppings on Papa John’s pizza (large cheese for $9.99) every Monday for each goal scored by the Blue Jackets in their most recent game. Fans can double the toppings after a win! Order by phone or at www.papajohns.com (promo code CBJMonday).
SKYLINE CHILI BLUE JACKETS FAMILY FOUR PACK
Fans can visit their local Skyline Chili restaurant to enter to win four tickets to a weekend home game, a $40 Skyline Chili gift card and a group photo with Blue Jackets mascot, Stinger. Ten winners will be chosen throughout the season with the contest concluding on Mar. 9.
PETLAND PRESENTS 2012 PUCKS AND PAWS CALENDAR, FAVORITE PET CONTEST
The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation announces the release of the 2012 Pucks and Paws Calendar presented by Petland. The calendar features Blue Jackets players alongside assistance dogs and puppies in training from Canine Companions for Independence®, the nation’s largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities. Fans can purchase the calendar at the Foundation Kiosk during Blue Jackets home games or at www.BlueJacketsFoundation.org. Starting Feb. 14, fans can upload their pet’s photo at www.BlueJackets.com/FavoritePet for the chance to be featured on a dasherboard during one Blue Jackets game at Nationwide Arena. The winning pet owner will also receive pet food for a year, a $500 Petland gift card, tickets to the game in which they’ll be featured on the dasher, a signed jersey and 2012 Pucks & Paws Calendar.
THIS WEEK ON JACKETS TV AT BLUEJACKETS.COM
This week’s scheduled Jackets TV programming includes: the Top 5 Plays of the Week (vote for your favorite); a behind the scenes look at the club’s recent road trip to Colorado and Phoenix; the latest editions of SMALL TALK that gives the team’s youngest fans the chance to ask questions of their favorite players; complete practice and game day coverage; and more.
STAY CONNECTED WITH THE JACKETS
Fans can follow the Blue Jackets online, watch game highlights, press conferences and exclusive behind-the-scenes video content on Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com. Fans can also get up-to-the-minute news and stories by following the Blue Jackets on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL. “Like” the club’s official Facebook® page and get the latest club news and promotions, videos, photos, updates and interact with other fans at www.facebook.com/OfficialColumbusBlueJackets. Check out great videos on the club’s YouTube channel as well at www.YouTube.com/BlueJacketsNHL.
BLUE JACKETS MOBILE APP NOW AVAILABLE
The Blue Jackets official mobile app gives fans a new way to follow the team using their smart phones and mobile devices. The app is currently available in the iTunes and Android Market app stores. Fans can download the NHL GameCenter app and select the Blue Jackets as their favorite team to access the team’s schedule/results, game play-by-play, statistics, NHL standings, game photos, player profiles and updated news. iPhone and iPad users can track shots and goals with the 3D Ice Tracker. All users will also be able to watch features from Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com and purchase single game tickets from within the app.
BLUE JACKETS MEDIA GUIDE AVAILABLE AT iTUNES STORE
The Columbus Blue Jackets 2011-12 Interactive Media Guide is available for free at the iTunes Store as fans now can download the media guide to their computer, iPad or iPhone. The guide contains interactive player bios, as well as detailed team historical and statistical information and records.
BLUE JACKETS ON FOX SPORTS OHIO
Blue Jackets hockey returns to FOX Sports Ohio in 2011-12 with 79 live telecasts in high definition. Game night coverage includes the BLUE JACKETS LIVE pre- (begins 30 minutes prior to the start of each game) and post-game shows… BLUE JACKETS SLAP SHOTS has returned to FOX Sports Ohio each week during the 2011-12 season. Check it out Mondays at 6 p.m.
BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
The AlarmForce Blue Jackets Sunday Morning Skate can be heard on the Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network and Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Bob McElligott and Mark Wyant… The Columbus Blue Jackets Coach’s Show with Todd Richards airs on Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m.
BLUE JACKETS “PRESS BOX” AT BLUEJACKETS.COM
The Blue Jackets have created a “Press Box” microsite on BlueJackets.com with daily updates of the following: press releases, news articles, media clips, game notes, post-game notes, videos posted on Jackets TV, post-game audio, weekly reports, as well as NHL stats and standings and a link to the 2011-12 interactive media guide. The site is located under the “News” module at the top of the BlueJackets.com home page or at the following link – bluejackets.nhl.com/pressbox.
Single Game: Tickets starting at $26 are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line Team Stores at OhioHealth Chiller Easton, OhioHealth Chiller Dublin, OhioHealth Chiller North and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com… 2013 All-Star Game: The 2013 NHL All-Star Game is coming to Columbus Jan. 26-27, 2013. Fans can guarantee access to seats for both the game and Skills Challenge now by reserving a full or partial season ticket plan for the Blue Jackets’ 2012-13 season… Season & Group Tickets: For information on full and partial season ticket plans starting at $15 per game and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS or visit www.BlueJackets.com… Huntington Green Seats: A minimum of 250 tickets are available for just $10 at the Nationwide Arena Box Office two hours prior to every home game… White Castle Rush CBJ student tickets: Student tickets are available for $15 (AEP Power Level) and $25 (Lower Level) at the box office beginning one hour prior to all home preseason games or online beginning at 12 p.m. on game days at www.BlueJackets.com... Military Appreciation Ticket: All active service personnel receive a free ticket to Blue Jackets home games by showing a valid, current military I.D. at the Nationwide Arena Box Office.