Columbus hosts St. Louis tonight with a chance to move out of the cellar in the Central Division.
Columbus (5-13-1) stands two points behind St. Louis (5-11-3) in the standings and a win tonight will vault the Jackets past the Blues for fourth place in the division.
Both teams have struggled of late, as the Blues have dropped three straight while the Jackets have dropped six in a row since a 4-2 win over these same Blues on Nov. 9.
In that game, the Jackets were led by Rostislav Klesla, who scored a career-high two goals. In the Jackets last game, Jason Chimera scored with 15 seconds to play to get Columbus on the board in a 3-1 loss to Nashville on Monday.
The Jackets are 7-3-1 over their last 11 meetings with the Blues, inluding 1-0-0 this season. The 11-game surge has lifted Columbus' lifetime record to 11-13-6 in the head-to-head seriece, including 7-4-3 at home.
The Jackets are led by David Vyborny, with a team-high 16 points (4g, 12a), while Rick Nash has scored a team-leading six goals. Pascal Leclaire, expected to start tonight, is 5-9-1 on the season with a 3.38 GAA.
Interim head coach Gary Agnew is searching for his first NHL win.
Meanwhile in St. Louis, Lee Stempniak and Bull Guerin pace the team with eight goals apiece, while Keith Tkachuk leads the squad with 18 points on six goals and 12 assists.
Three different Blues (Manny Legace, Curtis Sanford and Jason Bacashihua) have appeared in the St. Louis net, combining to post a 5-11-3 with a 3.42 GAA.
As always, Huntington Green Seats will be available for tonight's game and every game during the 2006-07 season. The Huntington Green Seats are 250 seats that are priced at $10 for every home game this season and are available only at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, two hours prior to game time. For tonight's game each person may purchase a maximum of four seats.
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