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Preview: Jackets hit the road for two, starting with finale vs Hurricanes

Columbus looking to keep pace in the Metro amid string of games vs the East.

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

GAME 33: BLUE JACKETS (20-11-1) AT HURRICANES (12-11-7)

PNC ARENA, 7 P.M., TUESDAY

TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO/FOX SPORTS GO

RADIO: CD102.5 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM

The Blue Jackets began a stretch of nine straight games against Eastern Conference opponents with a 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday at Nationwide Arena.

That includes four more games against Metropolitan Division teams, starting with the Hurricanes. Despite losing veteran center Brandon Dubinsky for an estimated 6-to-8 weeks with an orbital bone fracture, Columbus is looking to continue stacking wins and points.

The Jackets are 11-4-0 since Nov. 11, which is tied with the Nashville Predators for the NHL's second-most win total, and they're 7-4-0 against Metro teams this season.

This is the first road trip of more than one game for Columbus since Nov. 11 in Detroit and Nov. 14 in Montreal, and those two games were divided by a trip back home before facing the Canadiens. The Bue Jackets haven't stayed on the road for more than one game at a time since Nov. 2-6, when they played the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers.

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Jenner impresses in center audition, will get another look in Carolina

Tortorella not ready to say Dubinsky role is filled, but liked what he saw vs. Islanders

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Early returns were good, but the Blue Jackets aren't ready to pronounce Boone Jenner the solution to replacing Brandon Dubinsky just yet.

The Jackets' 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday at Nationwide Arena was only the first without Dubinsky, who will miss an estimated 6-to-8 weeks with a fractured orbital bone near his left eye. Jenner filled the void against New York, playing 20:53 and winning 58 percent of his 26 face-offs, but it was only one game.

"Dubi's going to be out for a while," coach John Tortorella said Friday, after practice at the OhioHealth Ice Haus. "I'm not going to lock into anything, but I do have other options."

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Jones and Werenski reflect on play at World Juniors

Having the U.S. here brought back memories for a few Blue Jackets who've played in past world junior tournaments

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

The Blue Jackets are departing for a two-game road trip to North Carolina and Boston, and Columbus will host USA Hockey's training camp for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship while they're gone.

Practices start out at the OhioHealth Ice Haus and will shift to Nationwide Arena's main ice the final two workouts. Having the U.S. here brought back memories for a few Blue Jackets who've played in past world junior tournaments

BlueJackets.com caught up with two who played for the U.S. and won medals.

Seth Jones helped the U.S. win gold in 2013, defeating Canada and Sweden along the way. Zach Werenski played in the tournament twice, and won a bronze in 2016.

Here are some of their thoughts:

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Prospect Profile: Notre Dame's Peeke getting comfortable with Columbus

Blue Jackets defense prospect back in town, trying to make U.S. world junior roster.

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Andrew Peeke is getting used to being in Columbus.

The Notre Dame defenseman, whom the Blue Jackets picked in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft (34th overall) has already been to two development camps here and is back in town again - vying for a spot on the U.S. roster in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will take place Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Buffalo.

Peeke, who's originally from Parkland, Fla., arrived Thursday and will begin training camp with the U.S. on Friday at the OhioHealth Ice Haus. Prior to doing that, however, he spent a few minutes with BlueJackets.com before taking in the Blue Jackets' 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday at Nationwide Arena.

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Prospect Pulse: Davidsson becoming a force in Sweden

Jackets' sixth-round pick, 20, earns first star after big week for Djurgardens.

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Columbus has another late-round pick starting to develop as an intriguing forward in the Swedish Hockey League.

Jonathan Davidsson, a 20-year old right wing, was impressive last week for Djurgardens IF, and his name is being mentioned more often. Davidsson played 44 games last season in the SHL, but split the year between that level and Djurgardens' junior team in the SuperElit division.

This is Davidsson's first full SHL season, and he's already surpassed his 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 44 SHL games last season. After scoring two goals and adding an assist last week, he now has 13 points (seven goals) in about half as many games.

Davidsson's efforts helped the Iron Stoves win two games, which earned BlueJackets.com's First Star of the Week honors. Vitaly Abramov, a right wing for the Victoriaville Tigres in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, earned the Second Star with four points (two goals, two assists), and Cleveland Monsters goalie Matiss Kivlenieks is the Third Star for an impressive bounce-back start in the American Hockey League.

Here's this week's Prospect Pulse for the Blue Jackets:

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Labatt Blue What We Learned: CBJ 6, NYI 4

Blue Jackets rebound for offensive explosion in key Metro win

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

This time, they'll probably break down the video a little closer.

After losing, 7-2, to the Edmonton Oilers on home ice Tuesday, the Blue Jackets didn't exactly do a thorough film study of what went wrong. There was no need to hash out the video, because they lived it, firsthand, and didn't really need to see it a second time.

"We threw it away," Columbus coach John Tortorella said Thursday at Nationwide Arena, prior the Jackets' 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders. "We usually do video with the players. We didn't present it to them. There was no sense of it. There were certainly some things we looked at, that had been in our game prior to that, that we're still trying to work on … but we didn't spend much time talking about it."

There wasn't any need.

The Blue Jackets (20-11-1) had already committed it to memory, and were intent on erasing it. Despite allowing four more goals, that's exactly what they did, responding against the Islanders with an offensive outburst they've been waiting for most of the season.

They set off the goal cannon six times, expunged the bitter taste of humble pie and remained atop the tightly-packed division -- alone in first, but tied at 41 points with the Washington Capitals.

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Full 60: Blue Jackets cash in six times in back-and-forth win

Jackets get inner-division tough win

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

It wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better for the Blue Jackets than what happened Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena against the Edmonton Oilers.

They gave up four more goals, after falling 7-2 to the Oilers, but the Blue Jackets potted six of their own this time - coughing up a 3-0 lead in the second period, then forging back ahead for a 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders.

"It was a bit of a track meet tonight, both teams," said Columbus coach John Tortorella, whose team reached the 20-win mark 32 games into the regular season (20-11-1). "[The Islanders] can score. That's a good team, so you have to give them a little credit … I just like the way we didn't lose our composure when we gave the goals back, and just kept on trying to play."

Three Blue Jackets goals were scored by roving defensemen Zach Werenski, Seth Jones and Markus Nutivaara. One was scored by their captain, Nick Foligno, late in the second period for what turned out to be the game-winner. One was scored by their top center - rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois - and their final goal went into an empty net with a second left in the third, courtesy of Josh Anderson, the team's leading goal-scorer (12).

Not a bad night, indeed, for Columbus - which won despite Islanders forward Josh Bailey netting a hat trick. It was the first victory for the Jackets in 34 games when that's occurred (1-32-1).

"That's what we want," Foligno said of the offensive outburst. "Hopefully because we do it, it provides us six goals a night, but just the way we played … I just hope guys are understanding that's how we need to play. So many guys contributed tonight in that [offensive] category, that area, and it was nice to see."

Here's how it went down:

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Jarmo Kekalainen Q and A: Dubinsky's injury and how the team will respond

Amid the current short-term landscape, Jarmo Kekalainen, the Jackets' GM, met with a huddle of reporters prior to puck drop

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

A lot has happened with the Blue Jackets in the past couple days.

They were humbled in a 7-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena, which was the second time in a week they'd come away from a loss questioning their own effort. They also lost veteran center Brandon Dubinsky for 6-to-8 weeks with a fractured orbital bone in his face, which he sustained in a fight at the end of that game - further challenging a team that lacked center depth.

They also had another Metropolitan Division opponent to play Thursday night on home ice, with the New York Islanders in town trailing by two points in the standings. Amid that short-term landscape, Jarmo Kekalainen met with a group of reporters prior to puck drop.

The Jackets' general manager said they'd experiment with options already on the roster to replace Dubinsky, starting with Boone Jenner, and that he'd stay patient with a group of veterans fighting through early-season slumps.

"There's a lot of guys that are unhappy with their performance so far, maybe even embarrassed, I don't know ... but those guys want to get back to their level," he said. "They don't need us to spank their bottoms to get back to their old level."

He also made it clear the leadership in Columbus isn't going to overreact to Dubinsky's absence.

"I don't think we're going to get into kind of panic mode or anything like that," he said. "It's going to take its time. You always try to find the silver lining in the unfortunate events. Somebody else is going to get a better opportunity, and more ice time, and hopefully we have enough depth to cover his absence." 

Kekalaine spoke for about 12 minutes, and had some interesting thoughts on a number of subjects, including his wish that all NHL players wore visors, including Dubinsky. 

Read the entire transcript here:

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Under the microscope: Folignos 'humbled' by tour of lab they helped fund

Nick and Janelle Foligno enjoy first look at research facility bearing their name.

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Nationwide unveils Foligno lab

Nationwide Children's unveils the Foligno Family Lab

Nationwide Children's Hospital unveiled the Foligno Family Cardiovascular Lab that they created with the Foligno's $500,000 donation last year

  • 01:42 •

About four years ago, Nick Foligno could draw you a map of his daughter Milana's heart on a blank sheet of paper.

After meeting with pediatric heart specialists at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and Boston Children's Hospital, where Milana had open-heart surgery 21 days after her birth, the Blue Jackets' captain - and wife, Janelle - became all too familiar with medical terminology associated with her condition.

Diagrams and drawings were committed to memory. Things like "bicuspid" and "mitral valve" became part of their vocabulary.

"[The doctors] were great, because they draw a lot of stuff to help you understand what's going on," said Foligno, who donated $1 million last year to fund research at both Nationwide and Boston Children's. "I'm very visual, so I literally could draw her heart. I could tell you exactly where the chambers were by the end of it. I was drawing diagrams for my family, so they could understand. It was wild. It's pretty funny how you become a pro."

Last week, the "pros" in the Foligno family took another medical course.

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Preview: Blue Jackets host Islanders, looking for strong rebound effort

Columbus will rely on 'next man up' mantra in first game without Dubinsky.

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

GAME 32: ISLANDERS (17-11-3) AT BLUE JACKETS (19-11-1)

NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 P.M., THURSDAY

TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO/FOX SPORTS GO

RADIO: 97.1 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM

Unlike a week ago, the Blue Jackets don't get two days between games to stew over a disappointing performance on home ice.

This time, they got just one spirited practice Wednesday to prepare for their next game and first opportunity to rebound from a 7-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena. Despite a couple of early-season disappointments, not to mention a season-long malaise affecting a group of veterans, Columbus has 39 points and sits atop the Metropolitan Division.

"We've still found a way to keep ourselves above water here," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I'm looking forward to this team [just playing] another game, just so we can get rid of what happened [Tuesday] night and get back playing."

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