Columbus (1-0-1) will welcome back two important pieces in the Jackets run for the playoffs puzzle, RW Nikolai Zherdev and D Rostislav Klesla.
The duo are projected to make their 2006 debuts tonight at Nationwide Arena as the Jackets play host to the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at 7 p.m.. Coverage on FSN Ohio begins at 6:30 p.m.
Just a reminder to Blue Jackets fans with High Definition TVs, tonight’s game will be broadcast on Time Warner’s channel 753, Insight’s 779 and on DirecTV, it is scheduled for channel 95.
Zherdev, who scored 27-27-54 for the Jackets last season, signed late in training camp on Sept. 28. The Jackets’ first pick, fourth overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, just recently returned to Columbus from his native Russia.
Klesla, the Jackets first pick in franchise history, fourth overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, was suspended for the first two games of the young season for a low hit in the preseason vs. Chicago.
The two will join a Jackets team that has earned three of a possible four standings points since the start of the season. Rick Nash has been hot, scoring at least a point in both games earning 2-1-3 in two games.
David Vyborny (1-2-3), Duvie Westcott, Manny Malhotra and Mark Hartigan (1-1-2), and Ron Hainsey (0-2-2) have all also scored multiple points through the first two games of the year.
Pascal Leclaire, in his first year as the No. 1 netminder in Columbus, has posted a 1-0-1 mark with a 3.50 GAA to start the year.
Meanwhile, the new-look Phoenix Coyotes come to town for their first road game of the season, after splitting two games in the desert. Wayne Gretzky’s squad won their opener, 6-3 over the New York Islanders, but has yet to win against the Western Conference, falling to the Ducks, 2-1.
The Coyotes are led by Steven Reinprecht, who has posted four assists and tallied a goal, and Ladislav Nagy, who has scored 2-1-3 through two contests. The ageless Curtis Joseph has posted a 1-1-0 mark and a 2.52 GAA, but is not expected to play tonight.
Most likely getting the call for Phoenix will be G Mike Morrison, who has 11 career wins, which were earned last season when he split time between Ottawa and Edmonton.
As always, Huntington Green Seats will be available for tonight's game and every game during the 2006-07 season. The Huntington Green Seats are 250 seats that are priced at $10 for every home game this season and are available only at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, two hours prior to game time. For tonight's game each person may purchase a maximum of four seats.
Click here to purchase tickets now.