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Blue Jackets Weekly Report: Blue Jackets Host Kings, Flyers During Holiday Week

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

THIS WEEK’S GAME SCHEDULE (Times ET)


Tue., Dec. 23LOS ANGELES KINGS, Nationwide Arena, 7 p.m. FSO/1460, CD101
Sat., Dec. 27PHILADELPHIA FLYERS, Nationwide Arena, 7 p.m. FSO HD/1460, CD101
FSO – FOX Sports Ohio; 1460 – WBNS-AM 1460 The Fan; CD101 – CD101.1 FM

BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE
Record: 14-15-4, 32 pts./4th Central Division… Streak: 0-1-1 in last two, lost one in a row… Home: 10-5-1, won five in a row… Road: 4-10-3, 0-5-1 in last six… Last Week’s Results: 1-1-1… Dec. 17 – at Columbus 2, San Jose 1 (OT); Dec. 18 – at Dallas 6, Columbus 5 (SO); Dec. 20 – at Phoenix 2, Columbus 0.

OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
LOS ANGELES KINGS (13-14-6, 32 pts./4th Pacific Division):
Head Coach: Terry Murray… Los Angeles is 0-2-2 in its last four games, including losses at Buffalo and Detroit on its current three-game road trip… The Kings rank ninth in the NHL in penalty killing (82.9 percent) and are tied for 14th on the power play (18.5 percent)… Club is led by C Anze Kopitar (10-16-26, 33 games), RW Dustin Brown (13-13-26, 33 games) and RW Alexander Frolov (14-9-23, 33 games)… G Erik Ersberg is 8-5-2 with a 2.38 GAA, .903 SV% in 18 games… Jackets are 14-13-2 all-time vs. the Kings, including 9-4-1 at home… Columbus has gone 4-2-1 in the last seven meetings and earned a point in all four meetings last season (3-0-1)… The Kings won the first meeting this season, 3-0, at STAPLES Center on Dec. 6 behind Jason LaBarbera’s 23 saves.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (18-8-7, 43 pts./2nd Atlantic Division): Head Coach John Stevens… The Flyers have gone 14-2-4 since Nov. 11… Philadelphia leads the NHL on the power play (27.6 percent), ranks seventh in penalty killing (84.0 percent) and has scored a league-high 13 shorthanded goals … C Jeff Carter (25-14-39, 7 PPG, 4 SHG, 5 GWG in 33 games) leads the NHL in goals… Flyers are also led by LW Simon Gagne (17-21-38, 32 games) and C Mike Richards (13-24-37, 33 games)… G Martin Biron is 11-6-4 with a 2.95 GAA, .900 SV% and 1 SO in 21 games… The Blue Jackets are 0-4-3 all-time vs. the Flyers, including 0-2-2 at home… Philadelphia is the only team the Blue Jackets have never beaten… The Flyers won the last meeting, 3-2, at home on Nov. 24, 2006… The last meeting at Nationwide Arena was a 3-1 Flyers win on Dec. 13, 2005.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE, DEC. 23-30 (times subject to change)
Tuesday, Dec. 23 -Nationwide Arena,10:30 a.m. ET
Wednesday, Dec. 24 -No Practice Scheduled
Thursday, Dec. 25 -No Practice Scheduled
Friday, Dec. 26 -Dispatch Ice Haus,2 p.m. ET
Saturday, Dec. 27 -Nationwide Arena,10:30 a.m. ET
Sunday, Dec. 28 -Toyota Sports Center, El Segundo, CA3 p.m. PT
Monday, Dec. 29 -STAPLES Center,11:30 a.m. PT

OhioHealth INJURY REPORT
D Rostislav Klesla (Injured Reserve, Nov. 19) is expected to miss at least one week… LW Raffi Torres (arthroscopic knee surgery; Injured Reserve, Dec. 2) is expected to miss two to four weeks… D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (arthroscopic knee surgery – Injured Reserve, Dec. 17) is expected to miss four to six weeks… LW Jason Chimera (Injured Reserve, Dec. 18) is expected to miss at least one week… C Andrew Murray is day-to-day… C Derick Brassard (dislocated shoulder, Dec. 18) will miss the rest of the season… Man Games Lost to Injury: 83.

PLAYER NOTES
MASON LEADS NHL IN GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE, JUST MISSES CLUB RECORD: Rookie G Steve Mason is 9-6-1 with a 1.92 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and two shutouts in 16 games. He leads the NHL in GAA, ranks fourth in SV% and is tied for seventh in SO. He has allowed two goals or less in each of his last six starts, going 3-3-0 with a 1.48 GAA and .947 SV% as he has turned aside 161-of-170 shots during that span. He made a career-high 47 saves, which was one shy of the club record and the third-most in franchise history, in a 2-1 shootout win over San Jose on Dec. 17.

BRASSARD TO MISS REST OF THE SEASON: Rookie C Derick Brassard suffered a dislocated shoulder at Dallas on Dec. 18 and will undergo surgery in early-January. He will miss the remainder of the 2008-09 regular season. He tallied 10-15-25 with 17 penalty minutes and a +12 plus/minus rating in 31 games this season and currently leads all NHL rookies in scoring. He leads the Blue Jackets in assists, plus/minus and power play goals (three, tied) and ranks second in points and goals (tied).

MISCELLANEOUS: D Marc Methot has registered an “even” or “plus” plus/minus rating in 14-consecutive games (+7 during that span) to raise his season plus/minus rating to +10, which ranks second on the club… C R.J. Umberger has collected 2-2-4 in has last three games after enduring a seven-game point drought… LW Rick Nash has tallied 5-5-10 in his last 11 games… D Mike Commodore has picked up 1-3-4 in his last six games, while D Fedor Tyutin has chipped in 0-5-5 in his last seven… Rookie RW Jakub Voracek has collected 0-3-3 in his last five games after being held to 1-1-2 in the previous 14.

TEAM NOTES
BLUE JACKETS EYE CLUB RECORD HOME WINNING STREAK: Since enduring a three-game home losing streak from Nov. 12-26, the Blue Jackets have won their last five games at Nationwide Arena heading into this week’s schedule that features home games against Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The five-game home winning streak is the club’s longest since winning a franchise-record six consecutive home games from Dec. 26, 2007 to Jan. 15, 2008. Columbus has outscored its five opponents during the streak 13 to 5 and allowed just two power play goals on 20 attempts (90 percent, penalty killing).

MISCELLANEOUS: The Blue Jackets will play a season-high six consecutive games on the road following Saturday’s game against the Flyers, including a four-game road trip to Los Angeles (Dec. 29), Anaheim (Dec. 31), Colorado (Jan. 2) and St. Louis (Jan. 3). The club will then visit Detroit (Jan. 6) and Washington (Jan. 9) before returning to Nationwide Arena to host Minnesota on Jan. 10… Columbus is 11-3-3 when scoring at least three goals and 3-12-1 when held to two or less… The club has outscored the opposition 67 to 58 at even-strength this season, including 62 to 54 in five-on-five situations… The Jackets are mired in a season-high six-game road winless streak (0-5-1) since going 3-0-2 on the road from Oct. 30-Nov. 22.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
DEC. 23 VS. LOS ANGELES KINGS: Dispatch/Mix 97.1 Family Night – The package includes four tickets, four Sugardale hot dogs, four small Pepsi products, four popcorns and four coupons for Wendy’s Frostys, UDF ice cream cones and Dispatch Ice Haus skating passes. Prices start as low as $25 per person… “Alive Jackets Night Out” – All fans ages 21 and older receive one ticket, one Donatos Pizza and one beer for one low price. Upper Bowl packages are $30 per ticket, while Lower Bowl packages are $50 per ticket… “All You Can Eat Pack” – This package includes one ticket in the AAA Sky Terrace and an All You Can Eat Buffet for just $39… Giant Eagle Advantage Card Night – Fans who present their Giant Eagle Advantage Card at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office will receive $10 off select seats to that night’s game.

DEC. 27 VS. PHILADELPHIA: “2008-09 Blue Jackets Yearbook Giveaway” – The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive the Official 2008-09 Columbus Blue Jackets Yearbook. This year’s book features 148-pages of photos, profiles and feature stories about Your Team… “All You Can Eat Pack” – This package includes one ticket in the AAA Sky Terrace and an All You Can Eat Buffet for just $39.

“BREAKING DOWN THE GAME” AT WWW.BLUEJACKETS.COM Tune into “Breaking Down the Game” exclusively on the “Jackets Insider Channel” on Jackets TV at www.BlueJackets.com. Blue Jackets coaches break down key plays from previous games, utilizing computer graphics to direct the viewer’s attention to highlighted players or other pertinent elements and explaining the plays as they unfold. Each episode of “Breaking Down the Game” will be available by 1 p.m. on Monday and Friday this week. Upcoming episodes will air on January 5, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 23, 28 and 31.

BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
The Coach’s Show with Ken Hitchcock airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets Head Coach, FOX Sports Ohio’s Jeff Rimer and WBNS Radio’s Bruce Hooley… Breakfast with the Blue Jackets can be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and AM 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.

TICKET INFORMATION
“$10 SUPER VALUE PLAN” ON SALE THROUGH DEC. 29: The $10 SUPER VALUE PLAN, presented by WBNS-10TV and Ticketmaster, offers fans tickets to three great weekend games against the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Sharks and more for just $10 per week. There are three packages available and each includes a pair of tickets in the same seat locations for each game. Packages with seats in the Upper Bowl (Areas E and F) at Nationwide Arena are priced at $150 or $10 per week, while packages with seats in the Lower Bowl (Area C) are $300 or $20 per week. The first payment is due at time of purchase and the payment plan will begin on Monday, December 29. Fans can choose either an automatic checking account deduction or credit card charge that will take place every Monday through March 30 (14 weeks). Fans also have the option to pay in full at the time of purchase. Packages are available online at www.BlueJackets.com or via phone at 1-800-NHL-COLS. The plan is available for a limited time only with sales through December 28.

HOLIDAY HAT TRICK PACKS ON SALE THROUGH WEDNESDAY: Give the gift of hockey with the Holiday Hat Trick Pack, an individually wrapped Blue Jackets gift box containing two or more tickets to three different games and an autographed puck. Purchasers may select from three different sets of games and choose a puck signed by one of five players – Derick Brassard, Mike Commodore, Pascal Leclaire, R.J. Umberger or Jakub Voracek. The Blue Jackets Holiday Hat Trick Packs start at $150 and are available now through Wednesday, Dec. 24. Holiday Packs may be purchased online at www.BlueJackets.com, by phone at 1-800-NHL-COLS or in person at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office and the FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. Additional tickets may be added to orders.

SINGLE GAME: Tickets are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line Team Stores at the Chiller Easton, Chiller Dublin, Chiller North and The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (614) 431-3600 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.Ticketmaster.com... SEASON & GROUP TICKETS: For information on season tickets, six-game and 10-game plans, and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS… HUNTINGTON GREEN SEATS: A minimum of 250 tickets are available for just $10 at the Nationwide Arena Box Office two hours prior to every home game.

 -- CBJ --

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