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PRE-GAME: vs. Edmonton

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets



Newly-acquired forward Colton Gillies is slated to make his Blue Jackets debut tonight, filling in on the left side of the fourth line with Derek MacKenzie and Jared Boll. He takes the place of Dane Byers, who yesterday was assessed a three-game suspension by the NHL's department of player safety.

Curtis Sanford will be the goaltender for Columbus this evening against the Edmonton Oilers, making his fourth consecutive start for interim head coach Todd Richards. Devan Dubnyk is expected to start in goal for the Oilers.

Here is the projected Oilers' lineup for tonight’s game at Nationwide Arena:

Hall Gagner Hemsky
Lander Horcoff Jones
Paajarvi O'Marra Smyth
Eager Green Hordichuk
Smid Potter
Peckham Petry
Sutton Teubert
  1. Play in their end of the rink: Though the Oilers have been depleted by injuries, the Blue Jackets must be aware of their speed-oriented attack the ability to strike quickly. Edmonton loves the counter-attack game and the Blue Jackets can combat that by keeping pucks deep and making them come 200 feet up ice.
  2. Pepper Dubnyk: He’s a big goaltender and one that hasn’t had a ton of success playing the Blue Jackets, so the home team will want to put doubt in his mind early on. The 6-foot-5 netminder likes to “block” pucks with his upper body and the best way to get quality chances is to make him move around the crease. Dubnyk has a 2.98 GAA and .909 save percentage vs. Columbus in five career games.
  3. What's done is done: Saturday's loss to the San Jose Sharks was disappointing because of the end result, but there were many good things to take from the game. The Blue Jackets were the better team at even strength and put a lot of pressure on a mobile Sharks defense. Opportunity is ripe against an Oilers blue line that’s been weakened by injury.



Colton Gillies, on playing his first game with Columbus: "I'm looking forward to it a lot. I'm excited, but hopefully I'm not too excited and go running around out there. I need to keep my cool and just play the game, and relax a little bit."

Tom Renney, on facing the Blue Jackets: "I've always felt they play hard. I think maybe they have a couple different looks in their game. This is a second and third effort team right now, which can be scary especially if you don't decide to put the same effort in yourself."

Here are some tips for fans attending the game at Nationwide Arena tonight:

• Doors will open tonight at 6:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. puck drop.

•The Blue Jackets take the ice around 6:30 p.m. for pre-game warm-ups. Interested in their pre-game play list? Check out the scoreboard or follow @CBJ_DJ on twitter.

• It’s the ice cream of the future! Check out the Dippin Dots stands at sections 112 and 210 to grab yourself a cup.

• Win a trip to see Ryan Johansen at the 2012 NHL All-Star game. Stop by the R Bar in the Arena District after the game for your chance to enter a raffle to win an all-inclusive trip. Proceeds benefit the Blue Jackets Foundation.

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