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Blue Jackets Weekly Report: Sixth Place Blue Jackets Play Three Games vs. Western Conference Foes this Week

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

THIS WEEK'S GAME SCHEDULE (Times ET)


Tue., Mar. 3LOS ANGELES KINGS, Nationwide Arena - 7 p.m. FSO/CD101
Thu., Mar. 5at Nashville Predators, Sommet Center - 8 p.m. FSO/1460, CD101
Sat., Mar. 7at Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena - 7 p.m. FSO/1460, CD101

FSO – FOX Sports Ohio; 1460 – WBNS-AM 1460 The Fan; CD101 – CD101.1 FM

BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE
Record: 31-26-6, 68 pts./3rd Central Division… Streak: Lost last game… Home: 19-10-2, lost last game… Road: 12-16-4, lost last game… Last Week's Results: 1-2-0… Feb. 24 – at Calgary 4, Columbus 1; Feb. 26 – Columbus 1, at Edmonton 0… Mar. 1 – at Vancouver 3, Columbus 1.
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE
Standings as of Feb. 23 (*division leaders)

  Team
GP Record Pts. Games Left Games Left - Home Games Left - Away Opp. this Week
1. San Jose 61 42-10-9 93 21 10 11 DAL, MIN, at VAN
2. Detroit 63 41-14-8 90 19 10 9 at STL, at COL, CBJ
3. Calgary 62 37-19-6 80 20 7 13 at OTT, at PHI, at CAR, at ATL
4. Chicago 61 35-17-9 79 21 14 7 ANA, at BOS, COL
5. Vancouver 62 32-22-8 72 20 10 10 MINN, SJ
6. Columbus 63 31-26-6 68 19 10 9 LA, at NSH, at DET
7. Edmonton 62 31-26-5 67 20 10 10 at NSH, at OTT, at TOR
8. Anaheim 64 31-28-5 67 18 10 8 at CHI, DAL, MIN
9. Nashville 63 31-28-4 66 19 9 10 EDM, CBJ, at PHI
10. Minnesota 61 30-26-5 65 21 7 14 at VAN, at SJ, at LA, at ANA
11. Dallas 62 29-26-7 65 20 8 12 at SJ, at LA, at ANA, MTL

OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
LOS ANGELES KINGS (26-27-9, 61 pts./4th Pacific Division): Head Coach: Terry Murray… After beginning the month of February by going 5-1-2 in their first eight games, the Kings are 1-5-0 in their last six outings… Los Angeles ranks 11th in the NHL on the power play (20.0 pct.) and 14th in penalty killing (81.9 pct.)… Club is led by C Anze Kopitar (20-32-52, 7 PPG in 62 games), LW Dustin Brown (23-25-48, 5 GWG in 60 games) and RW Alexander Frolov (26-20-46, 11 PPG in 62 games)… G Jonathan Quick is 13-10-1 with a 2.55GAA, .913 SV% and three shutouts in 27 games… Jackets are 15-14-2 all-time vs. the Kings, including 9-5-1 at home… Columbus earned a point in all four meetings last season (3-0-1)… The Kings have won two of the three meetings this season – 3-0 at STAPLES Center on Dec. 6 and 3-0 at Nationwide Arena on Dec. 23 – with the Jackets earning a 2-0 road win on Dec. 29 in the last meeting.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS (31-28-4, 66 pts./4th Central Division): Head Coach Barry Trotz… Nashville has gone 10-4-1 in their last 15 games and have won the first three games of its five-game homestand, including an 8-0 win over Detroit on Saturday… The Predators rank fourth in the NHL in penalty killing (84.1 pct.) and are tied for eighth with seven shorthanded goals scored… The club is led by RW J.P. Dumont (12-36-48 in 63 games), C Jason Arnott (26-19-45, 7 PPG in 57 games) and D Shea Weber (17-21-38, 7 PPG in 62 games; tied for second among NHL defensemen in goals)… Rookie G Pekka Rinne is 20-10-1 with a 2.15 GAA, .926 SV% and six shutouts in 35 games… The Blue Jackets are 14-30-4 all-time vs. the Predators, including 10-12-2 at home… The clubs split a home-and-home set on Oct. 17-18 with Columbus winning 5-3 at Nationwide Arena and Nashville rebounding the next night with a 6-3 win at Sommet Center… The Jackets won the last meeting, 2-1 in a shootout, at home on Dec. 11.

DETROIT RED WINGS (41-14-8, 90 pts./1st Central Division): Head Coach: Mike Babcock… Defending Stanley Cup champions are 24-4-3 at home, which ranks second in the NHL (San Jose, 26-2-3)… The Red Wings are 11-3-1 vs. the Central Division, which is tops among divisional clubs… Detroit is led by C Pavel Datsyuk (25-50-75, 11 PPG in 62 games), RW Marian Hossa (34-27-61, 10 PPG in 61 games) and C Henrik Zetterberg (24-32-56, 10 PPG in 58 games)… G Ty Conklin is 22-8-1 with a 2.39 GAA, .914 SV% and six shutouts in 32 games… Jackets are 13-28-8 all-time vs. the Red Wings, including 5-17-2 on the road… Columbus has gone 8-11-1 vs. Detroit the past two-plus seasons after posting a 5-17-7 mark from 2000-06… Detroit won the first two meetings this season at Joe Louis Arena – 5-3 on Nov. 28 and 3-0 on Jan. 6 – before Columbus earned a pair of home wins – 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 27 and 3-2 on Feb. 13 .


SCHEDULE, Mar. 3-9 (times subject to change)
Tuesday, Mar. 3        Nationwide Arena - 10:30 a.m. ET
Wednesday, Mar. 4  Dipatch Ice Haus - 11 a.m. ET
Thursday, Mar. 5       Sommet Center, Nashville - 11:30 a.m. CT
Friday, Mar. 6            Centennial Ice Rink, Nashville - 1:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, Mar. 7       Joe Louis Arena, Detroit - 11:30 a.m. ET
Sunday, Mar. 8         Dispatch Ice Haus - 12 p.m. ET
Monday, Mar. 9         Dispatch Ice Haus - 10:30 a.m. ET


OhioHealth INJURY REPORT
C Derick Brassard (dislocated shoulder, Dec. 18) will miss the rest of the season… G Pascal Leclaire (Injured Reserve, Jan. 8; ankle surgery, Jan. 23) will miss 10 to 12 weeks… D Rostislav Klesla (Feb. 10 vs. Colorado; Injured Reserve, Feb. 12) will miss at least one week… LW Fredrik Modin (Feb. 14 at Carolina; Injured Reserve, Feb. 16) is out at least one week… D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Injured Reserve, Feb. 21) is expected to miss four to six weeks… LW Jason Chimera (Feb. 24 at Calgary) is day-to-day… Man Games Lost to Injury: 249.


INDIVIDUAL NOTES

MASON RECORDS EIGHTH SHUTOUT, CLOSING IN ON CLUB MARKS: Rookie G Steve Mason made 19 saves in a 1-0 win at Edmonton on Feb. 26 to record his NHL-leading eighth shutout of the season, which is the most by a rookie since Montreal's Ken Dryden posted the same number in 1971-72. He is now 24-15-3 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 43 games. He is one shutout shy of Pascal Leclaire's club record of nine set in 2007-08 and needs three wins to match the club record of 27 set by Marc Denis in 2002-03 (77 games). In addition to leading the league in shutouts, Mason ranks third in goals-against average, ninth in save percentage (tied) and 10th in wins (tied).

UMBERGER SETS CAREER HIGH FOR GOALS: C R.J. Umberger scored his 21st goal of the season at Calgary on Feb. 24 to set a new career high, surpassing the 20 he scored in 73 games with Philadelphia in 2005-06. He has collected 10-4-14 his past 23 games and has four multi-goal games in 63 contests this season after recording seven the first 228 games of his career. He needs nine goals in his final 19 games to become the third Blue Jackets player to score 30 goals in a season (Rick Nash – 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and Geoff Sanderson – 2000-01, 2002-03).

NASH CONTINUES TO RANK AMONG NHL LEADERS: LW Rick Nash scored his 27th goal of the season at Vancouver on Mar. 1 to give him 4-6-10 in his last eight games and 12-17-29 in his last 25. He has tallied 27-31-58 and ranks among NHL leaders in goals (12th-T), points (22nd-T), shorthanded goals (three, sixth-T) and shorthanded points (four, fifth-T). He needs three goals to record his fourth 30-goal season in the past five campaigns.

GRATTON 16TH PLAYER TO MAKE CBJ DEBUT THIS SEASON: C Chris Gratton made his Blue Jackets debut Feb. 26 at Edmonton, becoming the 16th player to make his CBJ debut this season… The others are: D Christian Backman, D Mike Commodore, RW Derek Dorsett, G Wade Dubielewicz, LW Nikita Filatov, LW Kristian Huselius, C Craig MacDonald, G Steve Mason, RW Maksim Mayorov, LW Raffi Torres, D Fedor Tyutin, C R.J. Umberger, RW Jakub Voracek, C Jason Williams and C Mike York.


TEAM NOTES
SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN IS WESTERN CONFERENCE-HEAVY DOWN THE STRETCH: The Blue Jackets enter the week with 19 games remaining in the 2008-09 regular season… The club will play 10 at home and nine on the road… Of the 19 remaining games, only four are against Eastern Conference opponents (Mar. 10 vs Boston, Mar. 12 vs. Pittsburgh, Mar. 21 at Florida, Mar. 24 at Tampa Bay)… Columbus has 12 games left against Central Division foes (Detroit-two, Chicago-four, Nashville-three and St. Louis-three)… Thirteen games will be played in the Eastern time zone and six will be played in the Central.

MISCELLANEOUS: Since beginning the season 3-6-0 in their first nine games, the Jackets have gone 28-20-6… Columbus has posted a 9-6-1 record since the All-Star break… The club has posted a winning record in each of the past four months (November: 6-4-3; December: 7-6-1; January: 7-5-1; February: 7-4-1)… The Blue Jackets have averaged 16,608 fans per game in 14 home games since Dec. 27, including four sellout crowds of 18,144 or more.


NHL NEWS
TRADE DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY:
The NHL trade deadline is Wednesday, March 4, at 3 p.m. ET. An informational package for all media that includes – Trade deadline Q&A; Trade deadline activity since 1979-80; Trades in 2008-09; Players on current rosters traded on deadline day; Notable deadline deals by eventual Stanley Cup champions; Notable deadline deals involving draft picks; Notable deadline deals involving established players; NHL clubs' 2009 Entry Draft picks by round; and Trade deadline "by the numbers" – is available on to fans at BlueJackets.nhl.com/TradeDeadline09.htm.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
TUESDAY, MAR. 3 VS. LOS ANGELES KINGS: "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… "Schwebel's GIANT Deal" offers two tickets and one Stinger's Kids Meal (hot dog, small soda, chips and cookies) for just $45.

 
PROMOTIONS & CONTESTS

JACKETS, VERIZON WIRELESS INTRODUCE THREE GAME PLUS PLAN:
The Blue Jackets are offering fans an opportunity to guarantee their seats to some of the best games of the season and receive garage parking with the Three Game PLUS Plan, presented by Verizon Wireless. The plan includes two tickets to three games and one parking pass for each game in the Neil Avenue parking garage for $150 (upper bowl seats) or $330 (lower bowl seats). Fans can select from two plans. Plan 1 includes – Mar. 15 vs. Detroit, Mar. 29 vs. St. Louis and Apr. 11 vs. Minnesota. Plan 2 includes – Mar. 10 vs. Boston, Mar. 26 vs. Calgary and Apr. 5 vs. Chicago. The plan is on sale now online at www.BlueJackets.com, via phone by calling (800) NHL-COLS or at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office.

JACKETS ALERTS FROM VERIZON WIRELESS: The "Jackets Alerts" program gives fans the opportunity to sign up to have breaking team news, game information and exclusive offers sent directly to their Verizon Wireless phone. By texting the word JACKETS to 79376, fans will be automatically signed up for the 2008-09 season. Standard messaging rates apply and service availability is on a carrier by carrier basis and based on handset compatibility.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH "MARCH TO THE PLAYOFFS" TICKET OFFER AT GIANT EAGLE: The Blue Jackets and The Columbus Dispatch have introduced a "March to the Playoffs" ticket offer in which shoppers who buy The Columbus Dispatch at participating Giant Eagle locations will find an insert containing a special discount offer for select Blue Jackets home games in March. The specially-marked newspapers will be in stores throughout March and allow customers to take advantage of a $10 discount off select upper level seating areas and $15 off select lower level seats. The discounts may be redeemed online at BlueJackets.nhl.com/dispatch.htm or in person at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office. Fans may choose from the following games – Mar. 3 vs. Los Angeles; Mar. 10 vs. Boston; Mar. 18 vs. Chicago; Mar. 26 vs. Calgary and Mar. 31 vs. Nashville.

FANS – SHOW THE BLUE JACKETS HOW YOU "CARRY THE FLAG": BlueJackets.com is giving fans the opportunity to show how they Carry the Flag! The team's official website is looking for creative content provided by fans about their favorite NHL team. Fans can visit www.BlueJackets.com and submit creative game previews or recaps (pdf, doc, txt), videos (wmv), photos (jpg, jpeg, gif formats no bigger than 1000x1000 pixels) or audio clips (mp3 or mpg) and the best submissions will be posted on the team’s website.

BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
The Coach's Show with Ken Hitchcock airs on WBNS Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan and AM1460 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 Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan and AM1460 on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.

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.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.

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