BLUE JACKETS (13-13-6) at CANUCKS (17-9-6)
TV: FS-O ,SNET-P
Last 10: Columbus 7-1-2; Vancouver 6-3-1
Season series: Third and final meeting of the regular season. Each team had 2-1 victory in Columbus in extra time with the Canucks getting their victory in a shootout and the Jackets getting theirs in overtime.
Big story: The Canucks are in a battle for the Northwest Division for the first time in two seasons, and suddenly points coming down the stretch actually matter. The Blue Jackets are making an improbable push for the postseason are just one point back of eighth place entering Monday's games.
Blue Jackets: Their franchise-record 12-game points streak was brought to an end in Nashville on when the Predators throttled the Blue Jackets 5-2. The Predators scored four goals in the period to chase Sergei Bobrovsky, who hadn't been handed a regulation loss in a full month.
"Guys did a lot of really good things," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said of the streak. "A lot of things to be really proud of during that stretch. How they played, offensively, defensively, how their goaltender played. Had different guys stepping up each night and it got us right back in the middle of the pack right where we're playing important games here. So a lot of good things. Obviously, it's disappointing. The emotions are still high after this game right here but we've got to get back on the horse here and we've got to try to start a new streak."
Canucks: A brief eviction from the top of the Northwest Division ended when the Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Monday night. The Wild still hold the lead in points percentage with fewer games played, and the Canucks, winners of four straight, know they still need to be better.
"We take pride in being in first, but at the same time we've got to kind of put our heads down and plow ahead and pile up the points, get as many as we can get and not look around to see who's doing what or where we are in the standings," said Canucks goalie Cory Schneider. "If we do our jobs and win our games, it forces other teams to do the same. It's nice, but things can change in a day or two."
Who's hot: Schneider seems to have taken control of the starting job, with wins in his last four starts and just five goals allowed over that time.
Injury report: Columbus is without defenseman James Wisniewski (broken foot) and Derek Dorsett (shoulder), both of whom are on injured reserve. Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) returned to the lineup against the Predators after missing one game. ... Zack Kassian (back), David Booth (ankle surgery) and Ryan Kesler (broken foot) are all out.
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