9:30 P.M. Here are some pics from behind the CBJ lens for opening night:
9:20 P.M. -- SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: Much better period from the Blue Jackets, who used a sweet breakaway goal from Cam Atkinson to cut Detroit's lead to 2-1. Ian White and Brian Lashoff tallied goals for the Red Wings in the period, and after a dominant first, Detroit wasn't as much in the second period. Columbus got some energy from its penalty killers (again) and the fourth line, which has been pretty darn good tonight. Bobrovsky wasn't called upon as often as he was in the first, but the two goals that beat him were tough. He never saw the Lashoff shot from the point and White was all alone on the back post with virtually a wide-open net to look at.
There's a big third period looming here at Nationwide Arena. Columbus has to cut down on penalties and not feed into the Red Wings' plan of attack, and continue doing solid checking work at even strength. If the Blue Jackets have designs on winning this hockey game tonight, they'll need an all-in third period from everyone, and perhaps a break or two to go their way.
8:25 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: First period is complete at Nationwide Arena and it's scoreless between the Blue Jackets and Red Wings. As we suspected, Detroit came up with some spunk in the opening period and used some power plays to get momentum. Sergei Bobrovsky was terrific, making 13 saves in the period and even got a little help from the goal post in the process. Good news for Columbus: despite the penalty trouble, there was a ton of energy on its penalty kill and there's a lot to like about the four-man units that Todd Richards is using.
The Blue Jackets got better as the period grew older and strung together some shifts near the end. Richards is definitely rolling four lines and trying to get everyone involved, which is going to be a theme and a key throughout this 48-game schedule.
7:00 P.M. -- Alright friends, it's time. We're 20 minutes from the opening face-off at Nationwide Arena...and this place is hoppin'. What an atmosphere already. The arena was nearly jam-packed for warm-ups and the players took the ice wearing "Thank You Fans" jersey nameplates. Very cool.
Here's the quick down-low: Jimmy Howard vs. Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes. Same lineup for the Blue Jackets that they employed Saturday night in Nashville. Other than that, no changes to report.
Are you ready?
2:45 P.M. -- The pre-game interviews are coming fast and furious! Here's another with Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who will center Nick Foligno and Vinny Prospal tonight against the Red Wings:
2:00 P.M. -- Blue Jackets defenseman (and all-around good guy) Jack Johnson chats with Bob McElligott about tonight's home opener against Detroit:
1:30 P.M. -- It's time for today's Game Breakdown! Blue Jackets assistant coach Dan Hinote brings the analysis with Bob McElligott, courtesy of Jackets TV:
1:00 P.M. -- Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard speaks with Bob McElligott after today's morning skate on Jackets TV:
12:30 P.M. -- A few reminders for those of you heading down to Nationwide Arena for tonight's home opener:
- Reminder to fans that doors open early at 5:30pm. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the special free food & beverage offers for that night, as well as receive the other special giveaways planned for the evening.
- Today is the last day to take advantage of the “We’ll Pay Your Fees” offer. Purchase tickets online and pay no ticket fees for any games this season. Save up to $17 per ticket.
10:45 A.M. -- Sergei Bobrovsky was the first goalie off the ice this morning, and he's expected to make his second consecutive start tonight for the Blue Jackets. As for the rest of the lineup, no changes are expected from Saturday night; that means Colton Gillies, Mark Letestu and David Savard are the Columbus scratches.
10:25 A.M. Frozen moments from the morning skate:
10:15 A.M. -- Lots of reps off the rush this morning, which is right in line with what the Blue Jackets have been working on all week leading up to Nashville and now tonight's home opener. They want to get pucks on the target, overwhelm the opposition at the front of the net, and outwork them for scoring opportunities. Simple formula, sure, but one that takes practice and commitment to make it happen every night.
10:05 A.M. -- Everyone present and accounted for (14 forwards, seven defensemen, two goalies).
10:00 A.M. -- The full group has hit the ice. Sergei Bobrovsky is out there, as well....and so is NBC's Pierre McGuire. He's on the call for tonight's game at Nationwide Arena.
9:55 A.M. -- First guy on the pond this morning (and wayyy earlier than now) was Steve Mason, working hard on his game with goaltending coach Ian Clark.
9:40 A.M. -- The Blue Jackets are relatively healthy, save for some minor bumps and bruises, Todd Richards said after practice yesterday. Don't expect any drastic lineup changes as a result; here are the lines/pairs they used both in Nashville and at the Sunday skate:
Umberger - Brassard - Atkinson
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Dorsett
Foligno - Johansen - Prospal
Calvert - MacKenzie - Boll
Tyutin - Nikitin
Johnson - Wisniewski
Moore - Aucoin
**No starting goaltender has been named yet; we expect to get official word shortly after practice ends this morning. Stay tuned for more!
9:30 A.M. -- Good morning to you all! It's our second game day of the season, and this one is even more special. The home opener at Nationwide Arena gets under way at 7:30 p.m. tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. An exciting day lies ahead.
This live blog will serve as your one-stop shop for all Blue Jackets news today, includes lines/pairs, goalies, injury news (hopefully there's nothing here), video interviews, photos and more. If it happens on game day at Nationwide, we'll capture it.
In the meantime, here are some highlights from Saturday night's thriller in Nashville: