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Blue Jackets Play Three Vs. Eastern Conference Opponents

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (13-27-2, 28 pts./4th Central Division)


Wed., Jan. 11 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 13 at Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Pete Times Forum 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 14 at Florida Panthers, Office Depot Center 7:30 p.m.
FSN-Fox Sports Net, WBNS-AM (1460), WWCD-FM (101.1); Times are Eastern

THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 to 90 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Jan. 10-16 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 10:30 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Wed. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Thu. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Fri. – 11:30 a.m. (St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa)… Sat. – 11:30 a.m. (Office Depot Center, Sunrise, FL)… Sun. – 11:40 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Mon. – 10:30 (Nationwide Arena). Practice times are local and subject to change. Only practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.

ROSTER REPORT: Jan. 9 – Assigned D Jamie Pushor, C Peter Sarno and C Ben Simon to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Jan. 8 – Added C Peter Sarno on emergency recall from Syracuse (AHL)… Jan. 6 – Recalled C Ben Simon and RW Steven Goertzen from Syracuse (AHL)… Assigned C Geoff Platt to Syracuse (AHL)… Jan. 5 – Activated D Bryan Berard off Injured Reserve… Jan. 3 – Placed D Adam Foote on Injured Reserve… Assigned D Andy Delmore to Syracuse (AHL).

INJURY REPORT: C Dan Fritsche (concussion, Jan. 5 at San Jose) is day to day… D Adam Foote (hip injury, Dec. 28 vs. Anaheim) is day to day… D Aaron Johnson (sprained knee, Dec. 23 vs. Nashville) is out three weeks… D Luke Richardson (fractured jaw, Dec. 21 vs. Dallas) is out indefinitely… C Manny Malhotra (shoulder injury, Dec. 8 vs. New York Islanders) is out eight weeks… C Gilbert Brule (broken leg, Nov. 30 at Minnesota) is out six weeks.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Pittsburgh Penguins – 11-21-9, 31 pts. (5th, Atlantic Division)… Only meeting this season… Jackets are 2-2-2 in the all-time series, including 1-0-2 at home… Jackets won last meeting in Columbus, 5-2, on Dec. 31, 2002… Head Coach: Michel Therrien… Players to Watch – C Sidney Crosby (21-27-48, 7 PPG in 41 games)… RW Zigmund Palffy (11-28-39 in 37 games)… G Marc-Andre Fleury (5-9-3, 3.16 GAA, .904 SV% in 18 games)… Tampa Bay Lightning – 21-19-3, 45 pts. (3rd, Southeast Division)… Only meeting this season… Columbus is 2-3-1 in the all-time series, including 1-2-0 on the road… Jackets won last meeting 2-0 at Tampa on Jan. 2, 2004… Head Coach: John Tortorella… Players to Watch – LW Vaclav Prospal (17-29-46 in 43 games)… C Vincent Lacavalier (17-22-39, 6 PPG in 42 games)… G John Grahame (16-14-1, 2.93 GAA, .892 SV%, 2 SO in 32 games)… Florida Panthers – 17-22-6, 40 pts. (4th, Southeast Division)… Only meeting this season… Columbus is 2-3-0 in the all-time series, including 1-2-0 on the road… Panthers won last game, 1-0, at home on Jan. 3, 2004… Head Coach: Jacques Martin… Players to Watch – C Olli Jokinen (20-26-46, 11 PPG, 5 GWG in 45 games)… RW Nathan Horton (16-11-27 in 35 games)… G Roberto Luongo (17-18-6, 3.04 GAA, .914 SV% in 42 games).

WEEK IN REVIEW: Jan. 5 – at San Jose 6, Blue Jackets 3: San Jose's top line of Jonathan Cheechoo (3-0-3), Joe Thornton (1-3 -4) and Nils Ekman (0-4-4) led the Sharks to the win despite Rick Nash's first two-goal game of the season for the Blue Jackets. Columbus came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game on Mike Rupp's goal at 12:13 of the first period and after San Jose jumped ahead 4-2 after two periods, Nash's second goal :25 into the third made it 4-3. The Sharks held a 39 to 31 edge in shots and both teams scored twice on the power play… Jan. 7 at Colorado 3, Blue Jackets 2 (SO): Columbus earned its first point at the Pepsi Center, overcoming a 2-0 deficit before falling in the shootout. Trailing 2-0 after one period, Columbus got a second period goal by Sergei Fedorov and a third period tally by Rick Nash to tie the game at 2-2 at the end of regulation. Following a scoreless overtime, the Avs outscored the Jackets 2-1 in the shootout to earn the win. Pascal Leclaire earned first star honors, making 46 saves, and Nikolai Zherdev added 0-2-2 to lead Columbus… Blue Jackets 5, at Phoenix 2 – Bryan Berard collected his first career hat trick, Sergei Fedorov matched his career high with four assists and Marc Denis made 32 saves to lead Columbus to the first win in franchise history at Phoenix. The Jackets jumped out to a 3-1 lead after one period and led 4-2 after two before killing off three power plays and withstanding a 17-shot barrage in the third period. Phoenix held a 34 to 15 edge in shots, but Columbus won the special teams battle converting three-of-four power play attempts and killing off eight-of-nine Coyotes attempts.

FEDOROV NOTCHES CAREER ASSIST NO. 600 AT PHOENIX: C Sergei Fedorov matched his career-high with four assists in Columbus' 5-2 win at Phoenix on Jan. 8. His final assist of the game was the 600th of his NHL career as he became just the 67th player in NHL history to reach that milestone. Fedorov, who is currently riding a season-high three-game point streak (1-5-6), had notched four assists in a game three times previously with the last coming on Dec. 12, 1995 at Montreal with Detroit. He has now registered 433-600-1,033 in 1,017 career games.

RESURGENT NASH RIDING FIVE-GAME GOAL STREAK: After missing 28 of the first 31 games of the season, LW Rick Nash has scored goals in eight of 11 games since returning to the lineup at Nashville on Dec. 17 and is currently riding a five-game goal-scoring streak. He has notched 9-3-12 since his return, including 6-3-9 in his last five outings. He scored a pair of goals at San Jose on Jan. 5 to record his first multi-goal game of the season.

BERARD NOTCHES FIRST CAREER HAT TRICK; 10th IN TEAM HISTORY: D Bryan Berard has tallied 5-2-7 in three games since missing seven-straight due to injury, including his first career hat trick at Phoenix on Jan. 8 and 0-2-2 at San Jose on Jan. 5. Berard's three power play goals vs. the Coyotes, which also set a team record for power play goals in a game, was the second multi-goal game of his career (2-0-2 at Dallas on Nov. 8). His hat trick is the 10th in team history and second by a defenseman (Deron Quint – Mar. 9, 2001 at Florida). The last hat trick by a Columbus player came on Nov. 7, 2003 when David Vyborny scored three goals in a 4-2 win vs. Atlanta.

TOP LINE OF NASH-FEDOROV-ZHERDEV LEADING IMPROVED OFFENSE: The Blue Jackets top line of LW Rick Nash, C Sergei Fedorov and RW Nikolai Zherdev has combined for 13-16-29 in 11 games since Nash returned from injury on Dec. 17. Nash leads the way with 9-3-12, while Zherdev has notched 3-6-9 and Fedorov 1-7-8. In addition to Nash's five-game point/goal streak, Fedorov has a point in a season-high three consecutive games (1-5-6) and Zherdev has three of his team-high seven multi-point games in his last six outings. Columbus has scored 33 goals during that span (3.00) compared to 56 in its first 31 games (1.81).

NEWS & NOTES: The Blue Jackets have gone 8-9-2 in its last 19 games, scoring three or more goals 12 times during that span compared to just seven times in their first 23 outings… Columbus has gone 4-6-2 in its last 12 road games after beginning the season 1-10-0... The Blue Jackets have allowed 40 or more shots five times in the last seven games, but sport a 3-1-1 mark in those games… D Cale Hulse played in his 600th career NHL game at Phoenix on Jan. 8.

TRIO OF PROMOTIONS ON TAP FOR JAN. 16 VS. NY RANGERS: The Blue Jackets game vs. the NY Rangers on Wednesday, Jan. 16, offers at hat trick of promotions. The game marks the season's second College Night, presented by CD101, which includes a game ticket, post-game showing of the movie Swingers at the Arena Grand Theatre, wings from Buffalo Wild Wings, and a CBJ knit skull cap for one low price. In addition, the game features the Upper Deck All-Time Greatest Selection Trading Card Giveaway to all fans in attendance. Finally, that night is also a Dispatch/Mix 97.1 Family Night with packages that include four tickets, four Hot Dogs, four Pepsis, four Popcorns, four UDF Ice Cream Cone coupons (only redeemable at United Dairy Farmers locations), and four Chiller Skating Passes for one low price.

JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3 -4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.

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