BLUE JACKETS 2 | CANADIENS 5
Marko Dano Post Game
Nick Foligno Post Game
Mark Letestu Post Game
Todd Richards Post Game
Marko Dano Goal
ANALYSIS: Despite news that Brandon Dubinsky would not return to the game tonight after an upper-body injury sustained after his first period goal, the Jackets had an opportunity to climb back into this game with 1:58 of carry-over power play time to start the second period. The Jackets did not register a shot on that man advantage, but did up their tempo in the second and out-shot the Habs 12-6. Columbus nearly pulled within a goal on a great effort by Corey Tropp, who battled to swat the puck behind Carey Price after falling to his back. Unfortunately for the Jackets, the puck had landed on top of the net before Tropp knocked it in, forcing a whistle and disallowing the goal. With the Blue Jackets unable to solve Price, Curtis McElhinney kept his team in the game with several great saves. Twice McElhinney stretched the pad to deny a Max Pacioretty finish off an odd-man rush, and he made another save on David Desharnais midway through the period after he had cut through the defense. Trailing 3-1 heading to the third period, the Jackets will need more rubber and much more traffic in front of Price to draw even.
Second Period Highlights
Brandon Dubinsky Goal
First Period Highlights
UPDATE (6:15 PM): The Blue Jackets have acquired forward David Clarkson from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Nathan Horton. Read the full press release here.
UPDATE (4:05 PM): The Blue Jackets have traded forward Adam Cracknell to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for future considerations.
Alexander Wennberg Pregame
Jordan Leopold Pregame
Todd Richards Pregame
UPDATE (11:15 AM): Going into tonight, Todd Richards knows that the Jackets will need to solve Canadiens' goaltender Carey Price. "He's a great goaltender that doesn't give up a lot, and it's a credit to how they play in front of him. You have to get in front of this guy. You've got to make things difficult by getting on the inside and getting to his net."
- Richards confirmed that Kevin Connauton will be out tonight with a lower-body injury and is day-to-day. He'll be questionable for the weekend.
- Sergei Bobrovsky was a full participant in the morning skate today. "I can't say he's going to be back this game or this day. We're taking it day by day," said Richards. "I think we're getting more aggressive and he's starting to feel more comfortable on the ice. But he's still not at 100 percent."
- Dalton Prout was also on the ice towards the end of the skate as he continues to work his way back from an upper-body injury.
UPDATE (10:05 AM): Here are the projected lines and pairings from this morning's skate...
- Kevin Connauton was not on the ice for the morning skate. Richards had said yesterday after the team's optional practice that Connauton may not be available tonight. He was experiencing soreness after blocking a shot on Tuesday night.
We're back at it again!
After a rough loss to the Sabres on Tuesday, the Jackets look to get back on track against the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Canadiens. These two teams are no strangers after meeting in Montreal this past Saturday, a 3-1 Montreal win. The Jackets are gearing up for a goalie battle much like that one, with Curtis McElhinney returning to the net for Columbus after getting the night off against Buffalo.
McElhinney stopped 21 of 23 shots in Montreal and followed that up with another solid performance when he stopped 22 of 25 in New York. In both outings, it was McElhinney keeping the game close in the early going until his teammates found their legs. The Jackets dominated the second and third periods in Montreal but were bested by another hot goaltender in Montreal's Carey Price.
Here are some pregame notes to study before the Jackets and Habs go to work:
- Sergei Bobrovsky was a full participant in the optional practice on Wednesday and appears close to a return. However, that return will not come Thursday. Todd Richards announced McElhinney as the starter against the Canadiens, and the team made a player transaction on Wednesday to send goaltender Anton Forsberg back to AHL Springfield and bring up Springfield's other main-man between the pipes, Oscar Dansk.
- Montreal rookie Jiri Sekac was traded on Tuesday morning to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Devante Smith-Pelly. Smith-Pelly met the team in Columbus and will make his Habs' debut on Thursday against the Jackets.
- The Jackets have fallen behind by two goals in the first period in each of the last three games. They'll want to avoid that kind of start against the Canadiens, who are 24-2-3 this year when they score first, an .823 winning percentage that is third-best in the league.
- Kevin Connauton was sore on Wednesday after blocking a shot against Buffalo on Tuesday night. Richards said the team will make a determination on his status after the morning skate on Thursday. Jordan Leopold was the healthy scratch on defense against Buffalo.
- The team announced on Wednesday that Jack Skille was placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury that will require surgery next week. No announcement has been made regarding a possible call-up from Springfield.