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Preview: Jackets finding ways to string together wins

Team has won three games in a row and tied the franchise record for points in the first five games of a season

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

GAME 6: BLUE JACKETS (4-1-0) AT JETS (3-2-0)
BELL MTS PLACE, 8 P.M., TUESDAY
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO/FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: 97.1 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM

WINNIPEG, MB - The Blue Jackets have won three games in a row, tied the franchise record for points in the first five games of a season (8) and hope to make it four straight Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

Still, the Jackets are searching for a few things.

They're searching for consistency in their overall play. They're searching for more shots whenever they get a power play. They're searching for another win, of course, but they're also looking for a victory that doesn't require a fevered effort in the third period or overtime.

"It's great that we found [ways] to come back and win, but we need to figure out the first two periods," said Cam Atkinson, the right wing on the top line. "Teams are going to start realizing that, and they're not going to give us a chance to crawl back in the game like that.

The good news is the fact they've won those games, despite the things they're lacking. Every point matters in the Metropolitan Division, where three teams eclipsed the 100-point mark last season - including Columbus.

"One thing we're doing is just finding a way to win," Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray said after practice Monday in Minnesota. "If you can find a way to win in the games that you probably shouldn't, then at the end of the year, all those extra points are huge. So, we just want to string together wins."

Video: Murray on team battling when going gets tough

SERIES RECORD

2017-18 Season: (0-0-0). The teams play once more this season, Oct. 27 in Columbus.

All-time: 11-11-0; 6-5-0 at Bell MTS Place

 

"BY THE NUMBERS"

  • 3: The winning team between the Jackets and Jets has score three-or-more goals in 10 of the past 12 games, including the last eight in a row.
  • 2: Blue Jackets center Alexander Wennberg is two assists away from 100 in his NHL career.
  • 8: Number of shots on goal for Columbus, without scoring a goal, in its past 11 power plays.
  • 1: Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones is one assist away from 100 in his NHL career.
  • 11: Number of goals Jets goalie Steve Mason has allowed in two starts this season. He has a 6.53 goals-against average and .831 save percentage.

 

EYES ON: THE JETS

Winnipeg has also won three straight games, after losing their first two to start the season.

The Jets are going through some injury issues, and the latest is a big one. Mathieu Perreault, the left wing on the second line, was placed on injured reserve (IR) Monday and could miss up to four weeks. Forward Kyle Connor was recalled Monday from the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, and skated in Perreault's spot during practice.

Winnipeg will also be without three other regulars, including defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and center Adam Lowry.

It's not quite as bad as the Minnesota Wild, who had five key forwards out with injuries on Saturday against the Jackets, but the Jets do have significant injury losses.

They've also got Nikolaj Ehlers, who was named the NHL's First Star of the Week for compiling seven points (five goals, two assists) in three games last week. Ehlers, Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien are all offensive threats for Winnipeg, which will start Mason.

"They've got some really good offensive forwards, and you've got Byfuglien on the point, big shot, so they've got some dangerous players out there," Murray said. "Like every other night, we want to prepare the right way and be ready to play."

 

FUN FACT

Winnipeg has 11 opponents on its schedule in October, and those teams had a combined record of 543-300-106 last season, including the Jackets (50-24-8). The teams the Jets have played thus far have a record of 12-6-1 this season.

Video: Anderson on chemistry with linemates

QUOTABLES

"We're going to have our off nights, or nights where we're not perfect or not our best, and if we can find a way to win those, then we will find a way to win the ones where we are on and playing great. That's how you rack up all the points." - Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray

"A lot of people say the playoffs are decided by Thanksgiving. A lot of teams are either in or out of it, and you want to make sure that when that comes around a few months into the season, you have a good start." -- Murray

"He's had some good looks. He's hit the post a couple times early in the year here. He's about the only one who has consistently shot the puck." - Tortorella on Panarin's famed one-timer

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

BLUE JACKETS

Artemi Panarin - Alexander Wennberg - Cam Atkinson

Matt Calvert - Nick Foligno - Oliver Bjorkstrand 

Sonny Milano - Brandon Dubinsky - Josh Anderson

Pierre-Luc Dubois - Lukas Sedlak - Markus Hannikainen/Dalpe

 

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones

Jack Johnson - David Savard

Ryan Murray - Scott Harrington/Markus Nutivaara

 

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

 

Out: Zac Dalpe/Hannikainen, Gabriel Carlsson (undisclosed), Jordan Schroeder (conditioning assignment)

Injured reserve: Boone Jenner (middle body), Sam Vigneault (hand)

 

JETS

Nikolaj Ehlers - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor- Bryan Little - Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias - Andrew Copp - Brandon Tanev

Marko Dano - Nicolas Petan - Joel Armia

 

Josh Morrissey- Jacob Trouba

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien

Tucker Poolman - Tyler Myers

 

Steve Mason

Connor Hellebuyck

 

Out:, Dmitry Kulikov (lower body), Ben Chiarot, Adam Lowry (upper body)

Injured reserve: Mathieu Perreault (lower body), Matt Hendricks (lower body)

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