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Blue Jackets Weekly Report: Mar. 21, 2011

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

THIS WEEK'S GAME SCHEDULE/BROADCASTS (Times ET)


Tue., Mar. 22 at Colorado Avalanche, Pepsi Center - 9 p.m. FOX Sports Ohio HD/97.1 The Fan
Thu., Mar. 24 at Phoenix Coyotes, Jobing.com Arena - 10 p.m. FOX Sports Ohio HD/97.1 The Fan
Sun., Mar. 27 vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS, NATIONWIDE ARENA - 5 p.m. FOX Sports Ohio HD/97.1 The Fan

BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE

Record: 33-29-10, 76 pts. (H: 16-16-4, A: 17-13-6; includes one H loss and one A win in Stockholm, SWE)… Standings: 4th/Central Division, 12th/Western Conference… Leading Scorers: LW Rick Nash (31-34-65, 71 GP)… LW R.J. Umberger (21-30-51, 72 GP)… RW Jakub Voracek (14-32-46, 70 GP)… Leading Goaltenders: Steve Mason (23-19-5, 2.96 GAA, .904 SV%, 3 SO in 49 GP)… Mathieu Garon (10-10-5, 2.65 GAA, .904 SV%, 3 SO in 31 GP).

OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
COLORADO AVALANCHE –
Head Coach: Joe Sacco… Record: 27-36-8 (62 pts.)… Standings: 4th/Northwest Division, 14th/Western Conference… Leading Scorer: C Matt Duchene (23-33-56, 69 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Brian Elliott (14-24-9, 3.28 GAA, .893 SV%, 3 SO in 50 GP)… All-Time Series: The Jackets are 9-28-2 all-time vs. Colorado, including 3-15-1 on the road… The Jackets went 0-4-0 in 2009-10, after sweeping the series 4-0-0 in 2008-09… Final of four meetings this season… Colorado earned 5-1 wins at home on Oct. 30 and at Columbus on Nov. 12, while the Jackets won 3-1 at home on Feb. 11.

PHOENIX COYOTES – Head Coach: Dave Tippett… Record: 39-24-11 (89 pts.)... Standings: 2nd/Pacific Division, 4th/Western Conference… Leading Scorer: D Keith Yandle (11-46-57, 74 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Ilya Bryzgalov (32-18-6, 2.54 GAA, .919 SV%, 6 SO in 60 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 13-20-6 all-time, including 5-10-4 on the road… Jackets went 1-2-1 vs. Coyotes last season and are 1-8-1 since 2008-09… Final of four meetings this season… Phoenix earned a 4-2 win at home on Jan. 4 and a 4-3 win at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 11, while the Jackets won 5-3 at home on Feb. 25.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS – Head Coach: Alain Vigneault… Record: 47-17-9 (103 pts.)… Standings: 1st/Northwest Division, 1st/Western Conference… Leading Scorer: LW Daniel Sedin (38-55-93, 73 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Roberto Luongo (33-14-7, 2.23 GAA, .925 SV%, 3 SO in 54 GP)… All-Time Series: The Jackets are 13-19-7 all-time vs. the Canucks, including 7-8-4 at home… Vancouver has won seven of the last eight meetings since Columbus posted five-straight wins from Jan. 15, 2008 to Jan. 18, 2009… The Jackets went 1-2-0 vs. the Canucks in 2009-10… Final of four meetings this season… Canucks earned a 3-2 OT win on Dec. 15 and a 2-1 SO win on Mar. 1 at Vancouver and a 7-3 win at Columbus on Dec. 23.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRACTICE SCHEDULE FOR MARCH 22-28 (subject to change)


THIS WEEK IN BLUE JACKETS HISTORY

Mar. 24, 2001 – Espen Knutsen set a franchise record with five assists in a 6-4 win over the Calgary Flames before a sellout crowd of 18,136 at Nationwide Arena. He set up goals by Jamie Heward (two), David Vyborny, Deron Quint and Alex Selivanov against Flames goaltender Mike Vernon. With his five assists, Knutsen also matched the club record for points in game.

TRANSACTIONS/OhioHealth INJURY REPORT
TRANSACTIONS:
Mar. 17 – Signed D Anton Blomqvist to a three-year entry level contract… INJURY REPORT: LW Kristian Huselius (Feb. 18 at Chicago) is day-to-day… D Grant Clitsome (Mar. 19 at Minnesota) is day-to-day… D Anton Stralman (Feb. 27 at Nashville) is day-to-day… C Andrew Murray (Mar. 3 at Edmonton) is out indefinitely… RW Chris Clark (Mar. 12 at Carolina) is expected to miss three to four weeks. Man Games Lost to Injury: 187.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Mar. 15 – Boston 3, at COLUMBUS 2 (SO):
Tuukka Rask made 34 saves to outduel Steve Mason (27 saves) in net and rookie Tyler Seguin scored the decisive goal in the shootout for Boston. The Jackets led 2-1 on goals by Grant Clitsome and Scottie Upshall before the Bruins forced overtime on a Rich Peverley shorthanded goal at 14:24 of the third period… Mar. 17 – Detroit 2, at COLUMBUS 0: Joey MacDonald made 37 saves and the Red Wings used first period goals by Drew Miller and Valtteri Filppula to earn the win. Steve Mason made 25 saves for Columbus, which outshot Detroit 37 to 27 in the game but went 0-of-6 on the power play… Mar. 19 – COLUMBUS 5, at Minnesota 4 (OT): Rick Nash tallied 2-2-4 and Antoine Vermette scored with 34 seconds left in overtime to lead the Blue Jackets to their club-record 17th road win of the season. Sami Lepisto collected 0-3-3 for Columbus, which led 4-2 in the third before late goals by Minnesota’s Antti Miettinen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard forced the extra session… Mar. 20 – New Jersey 3, at COLUMBUS 0: David Clarkson scored a pair of goals and the Devils held the Jackets to a season-low 13 shots on goal as Martin Brodeur recorded his 115th career shutout. Steve Mason turned aside 28-of-31 shots for the Blue Jackets.

WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE AT A GLANCE
The Blue Jackets enter the week with 76 pts. through 72 games and rank 12th in the Western Conference standings. The club is nine points out of eighth place. Through games played on Sunday, Mar. 20, the teams ahead of Columbus are: 1) Vancouver, 103 pts. (73 GP)… 2) Detroit, 94 pts. (72 GP)… 3) San Jose, 92 pts. (73 GP)… 4) Phoenix, 89 pts. (74 GP)… 5) Chicago, 86 pts. (72 GP)… 6) Los Angeles, 86 pts. (72 GP)… 7) Nashville, 86 pts. (73 GP)… 8) Anaheim, 85 pts. (72 GP)… 9) Dallas, 85 pts. (72 GP)… 10) Calgary, 84 pts. (74 GP)… 11) Minnesota, 78 pts. (73 GP).

JACKETS SET CLUB RECORD FOR ROAD WINS
The Blue Jackets beat Minnesota 5-4 in overtime on Mar. 19 to improve to 17-13-6 (40 pts.) on the road this season, breaking the franchise record for road wins in a season set in 2008-09 (16-18-7, 39 pts.). The club has picked up points in nine-of-12 road games since Jan. 15 (7-3-2) and is 2-0-1 with wins in its last two outings away from home. Columbus set franchise records with points in eight-straight road games from Jan. 15 to Feb. 18, including six-straight wins from Jan. 19 to Feb. 18.

TEAM NEWS & NOTES
The Blue Jackets have gone 13-9-7 in their last 29 games, including 10-7-5 in their last 22… The Blue Jackets penalty killers have climbed to 18th in the NHL (81.4 pct.) and are fifth-best in the league at home (86.9 pct.)… Columbus is 10-3-2 against the Eastern Conference this season and has gone 37-16-8 vs. the East since the start of the 2007-08 season… The Jackets did not have a power play attempt at Minnesota on Mar. 19, which was just the second time that has happened this season (Dec. 27 vs. Minnesota)… After firing off 30 or more shots in four of its previous five games, including three-straight, the Jackets were held to a season-low 13 vs. New Jersey on Mar. 20… Columbus has 10 games remaining in the regular season – five at home and five on the road.

NASH OBLITERATES GOAL-DROUGHT, HITS 30-GOAL MARK FOR THE SIXTH TIME
After being held to 0-6-6 in his previous 11 games, LW Rick Nash matched his career-high with 2-2-4 at Minnesota on Mar. 19 and now has a team-leading 31-34-65 in 71 games. He has registered 30 or more goals six times in his eight NHL seasons and joins Calgary’s Jarome Iginla as the only current NHL players who have done so in each of the past four seasons. His four points vs. the Wild marked a season high and matched his career-best set three times previously (0-4-4 vs. Calgary on Mar. 26, 2009 – most recent).

PLAYER NOTES
LW Ethan Moreau is one game shy of 900 in his NHL career (146-137-283 and 1,090 PIM in 899 games)… G Steve Mason has gone 1-2-1 with a 2.21 GAA and .924 SV% (109 saves-118 shots) in his last four outings… D Sami Lepisto collected a career-high 0-3-3 at Minnesota on Mar. 19, recording his first points as a Blue Jacket and matching the club record for assists in a game by a defensemen (five times – Adam Foote vs. St. Louis on Jan. 11, 2008 – most recent)… LW Derek Dorsett has collected 6-18-24 in his last 88 games compared to 5-4-9 in the first 81 of his NHL career… D Kris Russell has picked up 3-7-10 in his last 14 games and is +4 in his past 27 outings… D Jan Hejda scored his fifth goal of the season at Minnesota on Mar. 19, which is a career high and he is three points shy of matching his career-best 21 set in 2008-09… With 21-30-51 in 72 games, LW R.J. Umberger is four points shy of the career-high 55 points he collected in 82 games last season… RW Jakub Voracek is five assists shy of 100 in his NHL career… RW Scottie Upshall scored his 20th goal of the season – and fourth as a Blue Jacket – vs. Boston on Mar. 15 to hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
Sunday, Mar. 27 vs. Vancouver –
DISPATCH FAMILY VALUE PACK – This ticket package features an upper bowl ticket, Sugardale hot dog, Pepsi, popcorn, UDF ice cream cone coupon and Ice Haus skate pass for $25 per person, which is a savings of 50 percent… Purchasers also receive free Admission to Stinger’s Family Skate in the Ice Haus from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., which includes free skating/skate rental, hot chocolate, coffee, snacks and prizes… Also, anyone who upgrades to a "lower bowl" Value Pack will receive a coupon for a free 3 Cheese 2 Topper Pizza at Donatos with each ticket (while supplies last)… HAT TRICK COMBO – This package features a lower bowl ticket, a pre-game buffet and post-game drink in the Labatt Blue Zone for just $50 per person, a savings of $28.

VOTE NOW FOR BLUE JACKETS "GLASS-SHATTERING HIT OF THE YEAR"
Safelite AutoGlass presents the Blue Jackets Glass Shattering Hit of the Year. Eight hits have been selected and each week, two Blue Jackets go head-to-head with your vote determining who wins and moves on. The voting runs through April 8 when your votes decide the winner. Each week, one lucky voter will be selected randomly to receive a signed Blue Jackets jersey. Voting begins on Tuesday and this week's contestants are Kris Russell and Derek Dorsett. Up for grabs is a Steve Mason-signed jersey. Click here on Tuesday to vote for this week's hit of the year

THIS WEEK ON JACKETS TV AT BLUEJACKETS.COM
Monday –
Top Five Plays of the Week… Blue Jackets Shootout Showcase… Tuesday – Behind the Bench with Scott Arniel… Game Day Coverage at Colorado… Wednesday – On the Road with the CBJ – Minnesota… Blue Jackets Shootout Showcase… Thursday – Game Day Coverage at Phoenix… One-on-One with center Derick BrassardSunday – Game Day Coverage vs. Vancouver.

PODCASTS ON BLUEJACKETS.COM
"NHL INSIDER" hosted by Jeff Rimer, takes a look at the latest news about the team and the NHL and is available each Wednesday… This week’s scheduled guest is former NHL goaltender and New Jersey Devils analyst Glenn "Chico" Resch… "BLUE JACKETS WEEKLY" offers up the latest team news, a look at the week ahead, including opponent previews, upcoming promotions and more… "DRIVE TO THE NET" is a live discussion that lets fans interact with team radio broadcasters during the second intermission of each radio game broadcast. Fans can e-mail comments to radioactive@BlueJackets.com or send via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/CBJRadio... "BLUE JACKETS REPLAY" is a game night recap featuring highlights and post-game commentary from team players and Head Coach Scott Arniel. All Blue Jackets podcasts are available at www.BlueJackets.com and via iTunes.

BLUE JACKETS ON FOX SPORTS OHIO
FOX Sports Ohio is the home of Blue Jackets hockey with 75 live telecasts, including 67 in high definition. Game night coverage includes the BLUE JACKETS LIVE pre-game (begins 30 minutes prior to the start of each game) and post-game shows… BLUE JACKETS SLAP SHOTS offers an inside look at all things Blue Jackets. Tune in every Monday at 6 p.m. on FOX Sports Ohio.

BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
Blue Jackets Morning Skate can be heard on the Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network and WBNS-FM Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Bob McElligott and Mark Wyant… The Coach Arniel Show can be heard on WBNS-FM Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan every week during the season, as Jackets head coach Scott Arniel is joined by Jeff Rimer and 97.1 The Fan’s Scott Torgerson. This week’s show is scheduled for Wednesday, Mar. 23 at 6 p.m.

STAY CONNECTED WITH THE JACKETS
Fans can follow the Blue Jackets online, watch game highlights, press conferences and exclusive behind-the-scenes video content on Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com. Fans can also get up-to-the-minute news and stories by following the Blue Jackets on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL. “Like” the club’s official Facebook ® page and get the latest club news and promotions, videos, photos, updates and interact with other fans at www.facebook.com/OfficialColumbusBlueJackets.

ASK A JACKET, WIN A PRIZE
Each week through the end of the regular season, the Jackets are giving fans the chance to ask a question of their favorite player and win a special item signed by that player. Check out the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/OfficialColumbusBlueJackets each week to find out how to submit a question and later in the week a video of the player answering the chosen question will be posted. This week's selected fan will receive an autographed Blue Jackets mini helmet.

TICKET INFORMATION
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 (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.comSeason & Group Tickets: For information on season tickets, as well as a variety of available mini-season 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… White Castle Rush CBJ student tickets: Student tickets are available for $15 (upper bowl) and $25 (lower bowl) at the box office beginning one hour prior to all home preseason games or online beginning at 12 p.m. on game days at www.BlueJackets.com.

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