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Future Hall of Fame Defensemen on Display Friday

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
Rob Blake and Adam Foote won a Stanley Cup together in Colorado.

On Friday, the two future Hall of Fame defensemen will face each other for the first time since early in the 2000-01 season, with neither blueliner sporting an Avalanche sweater as the Jackets host the LA Kings at 7 p.m. Friday.

Coverage on FSN Ohio begins at 6:30 p.m. with Ice Breaker. Tonight's game will also be broadcast on FSN Ohio in High Definition, that's channel 929 on Insight Cable or channel 753 for Time Warner.

“[Blake] is one of the better defensemen in the league,” Foote said. "In the last 15 years, he is one of the top guys defensively and offensively. He makes the game easy for everyone else on the ice.”

Foote, a long-time member of the Quebec Nordique/Colorado Avalanche was partnered with Blake on the Avalanche blueline when Colorado obtained him on Feb. 21, 2001 in a blockbuster deal. The duo helped lead the Avalanche to the playoffs all four seasons they played together, including a Stanley Cup championship in 2001.

Foote left via free agency to the Jackets during the summer of 2005, while Blake returned to the Kings this past July. So in head-to-head action since they were teammates in Colorado, Blake owns bragging rights by virtue of the Jackets 0-3-1 record vs. the Avalanche last season.

But the past is the past.

This season, the Kings are 3-6-2 with eight points in 11 games, which places them in fourth in the Pacific Division, 12th in the conference ahead of only the Calgary Flames (3-4-1, seven points), the Phoenix Coyotes (2-8-0, four points) and Foote’s Jackets (2-4-1, five points).

The Kings are led by young center Anze Kopitar with 3-9-12, while Michael Cammalleri leads L.A. in goals, with five. Blake has posted two assists and a -6 rating in his 11 games, while Dan Cloutier has posted a 1-5-1 record with a 3.64 GAA. Mathieu Garon has two of the Kings’ wins, going 2-1-1 in his five starts.

The Jackets, meanwhile, jumped out of the gates with a 2-0-1 record, but have lost four straight. The losing streak has coincided with Rick Nash's scoring drought, as he has gone scoreless in the last four games, after racking up 3-3-6 in the first three contests of the season. David Vyborny leads the team with 1-7-8, while Duvie Wescott paces the defense with 2-4-6 from the blue line. Adam Foote has two assists.

Pascal Leclaire, meanwhile, has posted a 2-3-1 mark with a 3.42 GAA. Leclaire has never faced the Kings. Columbus went 1-3-0 vs. LA last year with the lone win being a 7-4 victory on Feb. 8. The Jackets are 9-10-1 all-time in the series including 6-4-0 at home.

Don't forget fans, it is Hockey Night in Columbus on Friday, recognizing youth and amateur hockey organizations. Feel free to wear your favorite hockey jersey to celebrate the event.

As always, Huntington Green Seats will be available for tonight's game and every game during the 2006-07 season. The Huntington Green Seats are 250 seats that are priced at $10 for every home game this season and are available only at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, two hours prior to game time. For tonight's game each person may purchase a maximum of four seats.

Click here to purchase tickets now.

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