GAME DAY: vs. Phoenix

Jackets hoping three is a magic number (third straight win and three-for-three vs. Coyotes this season)

Monday, 03.05.2012 / 8:21 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

  Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Phoenix Coyotes
RECORDS - CBJ: 20-38-7 (Home: 11-18-3), PHX: 33-24-9 (Road: 16-12-5)
WHEN: Mar. 6, 2012 - 7 p.m.   |   WHERE: Jobing.com Arena
WATCH:
FOX Sports Ohio (HD)  |  LISTEN: 97.1 FM & BlueJackets.com
GAME NOTES


MacKenzie

Richards

Breakdown
The general consensus from the Blue Jackets locker room is that they are fully content playing the role of spoiler as the 2011-12 NHL regular season winds down. And if their last two road efforts were not enough proof, they go for a third consecutive win over a Western Conference playoff contender tonight at Nationwide Arena.

Columbus shut out the Colorado Avalanche by a 2-0 final last week in Denver, and followed it up two nights later by defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 at Jobing.com Arena. Those same Coyotes are tonight’s opponent and they will be a desperate club – as so many are this time of year – when the puck drops this evening.

Head coach Dave Tippett is not pleased with his club’s recent slide, which began the game following an 11-0-1 record in February. The Coyotes have dropped back-to-back games (at home to both Calgary and Columbus last week) and are in danger of losing their grip on the Pacific Division lead.

Phoenix is currently tied in total points (75) with the Dallas Stars, and only games played is keeping the Coyotes atop the division. The Stars have more regulation/overtime wins (30) than the Coyotes (28), but Phoenix’s 65 games played ranks one less than Dallas. Those two clubs will meet one final time in the Lone Star State later this month, but the real trouble could loom in the form of the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks sit two points back of Phoenix and Dallas but have games in hand as well as three remaining contests against the Coyotes.

If Saturday night’s tilt between the Blue Jackets and Coyotes is any indication, this should be an exciting game that will come down to the battles in the trenches. Rick Nash’s pass to Derick Brassard to make it a 4-2 game came after he out-muscled Keith Yandle and stole the puck below the goal line, just one example of a hard-fought game by the Blue Jackets.

G
Nash (22) Vrbata (30)
A
Prospal (30) Whitney (39)
PTS
Nash (47) Whitney (60)
PIM
Dorsett (183) Torres (48)
+/-
MacKenzie (+3) Whitney (+22)
W/L
Sanford (10-15-4)
Smith (29-17-7)
GAA
Sanford (2.66) Smith (2.28)
SVP
Sanford (.911) Smith (.926)
• Columbus returns home tonight after posting back-to-back wins at Colorado and at Phoenix last week. It marks the third time this season the club has won back-to-back games and comes after the club dropped three-straight decisions. The Blue Jackets have gone 7-6-1 the last 14 games after posting a 4-15-2 mark the previous 21 outings.

Rick Nash registered his first three-point game since registering 2-2-4 Mar. 19, 2011 at Minnesota (69 games) with two goals and an assist Saturday at Phoenix. His first goal was scored shorthanded to give him shorthanded goals in two of the last four games.

Nikita Nikitin has goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his NHL career after scoring his fourth of the season Saturday at Phoenix. The goal proved to be the game-winner, giving him game-winning goals in back-to-back games. He is the third NHL defenseman this season to score game-winning goals in back-to-back games.

• Tonight marks the third of four meetings overall and second of two at Nationwide Arena this season between the Blue Jackets and Coyotes. Columbus is 15-21-6 all-time against Phoenix, including a 9-10-2 mark at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets have won three of the last four meetings after the Coyotes claimed 10 of the previous 11 contests.


DAVID RUNDBLAD

 
D - #2
  1 GOALS
  6 ASSISTS
  7 POINTS




• This hasn’t been the most productive offensive season for the young Swedish defenseman, but the centerpiece of the Kyle Turris trade is slowly earning his way into the Coyotes top-six defensemen. Considered a raw prospect at 21 years old, he still may need time in the minors to fine-tune his game, but the potential is sky-high.


D Radek Martinek (concussion); out for the season
LW Kristian Huselius (lower body); indefinitely
D Marc Methot (jaw); indefinitely
RW Jared Boll (foot); week-to-week

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 2 2 1 0 3
M. Calvert 2 2 0 3 2
R. Johansen 2 1 1 -1 2
B. Dubinsky 2 0 2 0 2
D. Savard 2 0 2 1 2
B. Jenner 2 0 2 -1 2
D. MacKenzie 2 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 2 1 0 1 1
A. Anisimov 2 0 1 -1 1
C. Atkinson 2 0 1 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 1 0 .905 3.00
 
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