GAME 9: BLUE JACKETS VS. CANADIENS
NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 P.M.
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO / FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: 97.1 FM / BLUEJACKETS.COM / CBJ APP
SETTING THE STAGE: Eight games is a relatively small sample, but so far, the Blue Jackets have shown they can win games in a variety of ways. They came back late in regulation to stun the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night in Columbus, but prior to that, used an explosive four-goal first period to take down the Anaheim Ducks on the road.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been tremendous and his play is one of the main reasons the Blue Jackets are above the .500 mark (4-3-1). He has started all eight games and, despite giving up five goals in the team's season opener, boasts a 2.02 goals-against average and .941 save percentage - numbers that give any team a chance to win every night.
Tuesday's win was a "step in the right direction" according to John Tortorella, who wasn't pleased with the team's overall performance but was pleased that they found a way to get back in the game and eventually get two points. While the penalty killing has been superb to this point, the Blue Jackets are giving it too much work and could afford to cut down on the number of penalties taken.
Their task on Friday night is a Montreal Canadiens team that has yet to lose in regulation, and seems like a reenergized group after fading down the stretch a year ago. With a healthy Carey Price getting the lion's share of work between the pipes, Montreal appears a more confident and dangerous team - and on defense, the addition of Shea Weber has made a noticeable impact.
NOTEWORTHY NEWS: Both the Blue Jackets and Canadiens begin a back-to-back set on Friday night; Columbus heads to St. Louis immediately following the game to take on the Blues, while Montreal returns home to host Philadelphia. Al Montoya will start in goal for the Canadiens, while Sergei Bobrovsky will make his ninth straight start for the Blue Jackets.
PROJECTED CBJ LINEUP:
Saad - Wennberg - Foligno
Jenner - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Calvert - Karlsson - Anderson
Hartnell - Sedlak - Gagner
Werenski - Jones
Nutivaara - Savard
Murray - Johnson