BLUE JACKETS 3 | WILD 1
Brandon Dubinsky Post Game
James Wisniewski Post Game
Todd Richards Post Game
James Wisniewski Goal
Scott Hartnell Goal
ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets dodged a huge bullet late in the second period by having a Minnesota goal called back and then killing off a high-sticking double minor to David Savard, but they can credit their penalty kill for helping to avoid late-period danger. Their four-minute shorthanded display featured everything coaches look for -- active sticks, seeking opportunities to win battles on the walls and clearing the puck 200 feet whenever the opening arises. They did just that and Alexander Wennberg was a big part of it, as Todd Richards showed a tremendous amount of confidence in the 20-year-old and the rookie center paid off his coach's trust in him. Shots are 17-14 in favor of the Wild after 40 minutes.
Sergei Bobrovsky Penalty Shot Save
ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets played with a lot of confidence in the first period, and it started with how they managed the puck. They didn't turn it over, they played a north-south style and limited mistakes in the neutral zone. Their quick transition game led to a first period goal for Brandon Dubinsky, who was sprung up-ice by a nice 100-foot pass from James Wisniewski. Dubinsky broke in between the dots and ripped a shot over the shoulder of Devan Dubnyk, giving Columbus a 1-0 lead at 7:57. The Wild got it back late in the period, scoring on the power play thanks to a slick deflection by Zach Parise in front of the net. Really liked what we saw from the Jackets' fourth line, too, creating a few scoring chances off the deep cycle and getting pucks to the net. Shots are 5-5 after 20 minutes in St. Paul.
Brandon Dubinsky Goal
Jack Skille Pre-Game
Dalton Prout Pre-Game
Todd Richards Pre-Game
UPDATE (12:45 PM): According to our own Jeff Rimer, it appears Jared Boll will be a healthy scratch tonight, making way for Jack Skille's return to the lineup. Skille was activated off IR earlier today.
Here are the lines reported from today's morning skate...
- Sergei Bobrovsky will be in net for the Blue Jackets. The WIld plan to start Devan Dubnyk, 2-0-0 for the Wild since arriving from Arizona.
Good morning from the Twin Cities!
The Blue Jackets landed in the land of 10,000 lakes yesterday afternoon, enjoyed a Sunday off with a couple of conference championship football games on the tube, and now get ready to face the Wild tonight at Xcel Energy Center.
It wasn't too long ago that the Wild were in dire straits, weighed down by a prolonged losing skid with all kinds of rumors and speculation running amok. They've righted the ship if only temporarily with two straight wins over Buffalo and Arizona, but there's a long way to go for Minnesota to get back in the playoff picture.
They're not unlike the Blue Jackets, who need to string some wins together themselves to make up ground in the East.
The Blue Jackets will skate at 12:30 p.m. ET, and until then, here are some pre-game notes:
- Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start for Columbus tonight. He's likely to face Devan Dubnyk, who's 2-0-0 with a .977 save percentage in two starts with Minnesota since coming over via trade from Arizona last week.
- The Blue Jackets assigned Sean Collins to Springfield yesterday and they now have 12 forwards on the active roster. Does that mean someone's ready to come back? We'll know more after the morning skate.
- These are two big games for the Blue Jackets, who head to Winnipeg after tonight's game to face a red-hot Jets team that's challenging for the Central Division lead. But first thing's first, and that's tonight's tilt with a desperate Wild team.