|EDM||0||0||2||(0 - 0)||2|
|CBJ||1||3||0||(0 - 0)||4|
OILERS (8-16-2) vs. BLUE JACKETS (9-13-3)
TV: SNET-W ,FS-O
Last 10: Edmonton 4-6-0; Columbus 4-3-3
Series: This is the second of two meetings between the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets. David Perron's career-high four-point game led the Oilers to a 7-0 win against the Blue Jackets on Nov. 19 at Rexall Place.
Big Story: The Blue Jackets' inconsistent season continued with a 4-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. Columbus has alternated wins and losses for six games, and though coach Todd Richards finds it hard to put a finger on the reason behind the inconsistency, the Blue Jackets are still a bit weary following a 3-2 road trip through Canada.
Todd Richards said earlier this week that he wasn't sure when some of the team's injured forwards would be ready to return to action. After the team's Thanksgiving Day practice at Nationwide Arena (which included the addition of Corey Tropp via waivers), Richards said he did not expect any of the injured forwards to be ready for Friday's game, but Nikita Nikitin may be able to return.
Dubinsky, MacKenzie and Boll remain on IR and both MacKenzie and Boll aren't eligible to return until Saturday's game at the earliest (NHL rules mandate that any player on IR must miss no less than one week of action from the date of placement), meaning the lineup used Wednesday is going to be a solid template for what we may see on Friday when the Oilers come to town.
The six-man rotation on defense could change, but Richards really liked the way his team defended when Tyutin-Johnson, Murray-Wisniewski and Prout-Savard were the pairings. Tim Erixon remains with the Blue Jackets as the seventh defenseman and is a solid insurance policy if a change is made (either by necessity or by coach's choice) on Friday. Between the pipes, Richards said it's a possibility that the Jackets split duty between Bobrovsky and McElhinney with the weekend back-to-back.
Not much needs to be said prior to this game. The Blue Jackets should not be short on motivation for their second and final meeting of the season with the Edmonton Oilers, given what happened in their previous match-up. With the addition of a new face in Corey Tropp and some renewed energy after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Blue Jackets will be seeking a much better start than they had Wednesday night against Nashville.
The Blue Jackets arrived at Rexall Place in Edmonton (10 days ago) fresh off a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators to kick off their five-game Canadian road trip. All of the momentum they had built with the victory in Ottawa evaporated by the time the first period was over in Edmonton; the Oilers were flying from the start and the Blue Jackets didn't help themselves en route to a 3-0 deficit after 20 minutes and a 7-0 loss in the game.
You can bet that the start will be a point of emphasis this morning and in the hours leading up to what should only be considered a very important game for the Blue Jackets. They have a home-friendly schedule in the months of December and January and if they're going to climb back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, the time is ripe to start piling up some wins and points. They will also be looking for the team that took the ice at Air Canada Centre on Monday, which happened to be the complete opposite of the team that lost 4-0 to the Predators two nights ago.
And though the Oilers haven't been a great match-up for the Blue Jackets in recent years, it's to the point where the opposition need not matter as much. The Blue Jackets have played "their style" of hockey on a hit-or-miss basis and they can't afford many more misses like they've had in three of their last six games.
AT BOSTON BRUINS
SATURDAY, 7 P.M.
|Nov 29 '13||EDM 2 at CBJ 4||N. Foligno|
|Nov 19 '13||CBJ 0 at EDM 7||J. Eberle|