GAME 19: BLUE JACKETS AT LIGHTNING
AMALIE ARENA, 7:30 P.M.
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO / FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: CD 102.5 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM
SETTING THE STAGE: This is unfamiliar territory for the Blue Jackets this season - they enter Friday's game in Tampa on a two-game skid.
Here's how this week, their busiest of the season, began:
They fought back in the third period to tie the Capitals on Sunday afternoon, and late in regulation, were given a power play with a chance to take the lead. Alex Wennberg's go-ahead goal gave them a 3-2 win, and the next night, they took an overtime loss despite 92 shot attempts against Colorado. Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Calgary is one they'd like to throw in the trash, setting the stage for this game against the Lightning.
Tampa has not missed a beat since getting the tough news of captain Steven Stamkos' long-term knee injury. The Lightning knocked off Philadelphia on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena and have gotten contributions up and down the lineup in the absence of their best player. It helps that coach Jon Cooper has two top-flight goaltenders in Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy, both of whom have played well to start the season.
Columbus begins a weekend back-to-back (its sixth of the season) on Friday night; after this game against the Lightning, the Blue Jackets head south to Sunrise to play the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
NOTEWORTHY NEWS: Matt Calvert missed Wednesday's game against the Flames due to an upper body injury. He is listed as day-to-day. Markus Hannikainen, who led the Cleveland Monsters in goal scoring at the time of his recall, made his season debut on the fourth line and had two shots on goal. Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start in goal against Tampa.
PROJECTED CBJ LINEUP:
Saad - Wennberg - Foligno
Jenner - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Hartnell - Karlsson - Anderson
Hannikainen - Sedlak - Gagner
Werenski - Jones
Johnson - Savard
Murray - Nutivaara