BLUE JACKETS 4 | BLUES 2
William Karlsson Post Game
Jack Johnson Post Game
Jack Johnson Goal
Boone Jenner Goal
ANALYSIS: That was a pretty darn solid road period for the Blue Jackets, who have their feet moving early on tonight. The Blues didn't have much of an initial push in their first game back off a six-game road trip, and the Jackets got their game going right away. They got pucks deep, created some turnovers and made one brilliant play off the rush to take a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Jack Johnson sprung Scott Hartnell with a 100-foot pass, and Hartnell hit William Karlsson on the right wing with a beautiful pass. Karlsson didn't miss, scoring his first goal as a Jacket at 7:06 and that's all we have to report. Oh, just kidding: the Jackets did solid work on the kill, washing out two Blues power plays in the opening 20.
William Karlsson Goal
UPDATE (7:25 PM): Here are the lines and pairings for tonight's game...
UPDATE (5:55 PM): Todd Richards announced that Rene Bourque will miss the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in his back.
UPDATE (5:40 PM): The Blue Jackets will start the same lineup tonight that they used last night in Chicago. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in net for Columbus.
We're back at it in St. Louis!
The city of St. Louis is the Gateway to the West, but the Blue Jackets have been the gateway to the playoffs for much of the Western Conference's teams over the last two weeks. And that gate has been mostly closed for Western teams looking for points in the post-season shuffle as the Jackets have topped the Flames, Canucks, Ducks, and Blackhawks in the last 10 days.
Now the Blues will take a crack at snapping a five-game Jackets winning streak and a seven-game road winning streak. The Jackets are winless in their last three visits to Scottrade Center dating back to Mar. 31, 2012, but they've already busted three other such droughts in the month of March alone. To do it again, they'll need to beat a Blues squad that is two points shy of the top spot in the league and has a 24-9-2 record at home.
Here are some pre-game nuggets:
- Rene Bourque's status for tonight is still uncertain. The Jackets' winger skated yesterday morning but was not ready to go in Chicago. Richards believed he was at least a possibility against the Blues.
- One player making a return for certain is Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has been out of the lineup since Feb. 1 with an injury that required abdominal surgery. Shattenkirk had eight goals and 40 points in 49 games before going on injured reserve.
- Todd Richards said Friday morning that no decision had been made for tonight's game. Richards will meet with the media and confirm tonight's lineup around 5 p.m. local time. Stay tuned here for updates.
- With their win last night, the Blue Jackets moved back to .500 (35-35-4) for the first time since the morning of Jan. 10 (18-18-3). They can move above .500 for the first time since the morning of Jan. 9.