BLUE JACKETS 3 | DEVILS 2
Justin Falk Post Game
Brandon Dubinsky Post Game
Todd Richards Post Game
ANALYSIS: The Devils certainly had a response in the second period, and at one point, they trimmed the Blue Jackets' lead to 2-1 on a power play goal from Jordin Tootoo. Yes -- you read that correctly. The lead did not last long, though, as rookie Marko Dano pounced on a turnover later in the period and snapped his fourth goal of the season off the post, under the crossbar and in to restore a two-goal lead for Columbus. Shots were 12-8 for New Jersey in the second period, but the Blue Jackets got a big early goal from Brandon Dubinsky and a book end tally late from Dano. They would do well to stay out of the box, though, as they've been caught a few times with careless infractions inside their own zone.
Brandon Dubinsky Goal
Marko Dano Goal
ANALYSIS: You'd have to chalk that up to being a solid road period. The Blue Jackets lead 1-0 after 20 minutes at Prudential Center on the strength of an Artem Anisimov goal -- one that needed some time to officially credit. The goal was initially given to newcomer Justin Falk, but upon further inspection, Anisimov got a piece of Falk's floater from the left point. Columbus did well to kill off a penalty late in the period, as well, shutting down shooting lanes and not giving the Devils much to work with from the top or off the half-wall. Sergei Bobrovsky was not asked to do much in the first period, making five saves but none of any true threat. Shots are 8-5 favoring the Jackets.
Artem Anisimov Goal
UPDATE (12:50 PM): The Blue Jackets have signed forward Nick Moutrey to an entry-level contract. Click here for full details.
UPDATE (11:40 AM): Here are the lines and pairs from the morning skate:
*Dubinsky will start on the wing and take face-offs for Anisimov.
Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start in goal.
UPDATE (11:30 AM): The Blue Jackets are on the ice for their morning skate at the Prudential Center. Updates to follow...
It's a Blue Jackets Game Day!
The Blue Jackets and Devils are set to do battle again only six days after their last meeting. That was a 2-0 Devils win at Nationwide Arena, a game dominated by the Blue Jackets for long stretches but decided largely by Devils goaltender Cory Schneider, who made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season. The Devils have now won both meetings this season, the first of which was back on Nov. 1 in New Jersey courtesy of a third-period comeback.
One of the scoring contributors to that comeback win was defenseman Marek Zidlicky, but he won't be a factor on Friday. Zidlicky was dealt at the trade deadline to the Detroit Red Wings, meaning the Devils will rely more heavily on their home-grown and youthful defense as they make a push for the postseason. The Devils are 6-1-1 in their past eight games and seven points out of a playoff spot.
- Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in goal for Columbus. It is only his second game back from a groin injury sustained in Winnipeg on Jan. 21. Bobrovsky stopped 28 of 32 shots against the Capitals on Tuesday.
- Brandon Dubinsky is expected back in the lineup after missing three games with a concussion sustained against the Montreal Canadiens. "Brandon is a big part of this team and his style brings energy and emotion, so it's good to have him back on the ice," said head coach Todd Richards.
- Richards told reporters on Thursday that Calvert was improving and doing light activities, but would not be available for the weekend. Kevin Connauton may be available for Saturday night's game against Colorado as he recovers from a lower-body injury, but he won't be on the ice against the Devils.
- Richards knows his team played New Jersey close on Saturday, but they just weren't able to find an answer for Schneider. "You have to keep throwing pucks and you have to keep getting bodies there," he said. "You have to make it difficult on him to move and to see the puck."
- The Jackets and Devils are both low-scoring teams this year, with the Devils ranking 27th in goals per game and the Blue Jackets ranking 24th. Despite the low ranking, both teams have been decent power play producers, with the Jackets and Devils ranking eighth and ninth, respectively. The Devils are 5-for-27 on the power play over their last 10 games. Scott Hartnell scored a power play goal against the Capitals, the Jackets' fourth in the past 15 games. The other three were scored by the recently traded James Wisniewski.