COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (26-39-3, 55 pts./3rd Central Division)
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT - ARENA TIME TV/RADIO
Tue., Mar. 21 vs. Phoenix Coyotes, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Fri., Mar. 24 vs. Calgary Flames, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Sat., Mar. 25 at Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena 7:30 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Times are Eastern; WBNS-AM (1460 the Fan); WWCD-FM (CD101)
THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Mar. 21-27 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Wed. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Thu. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Fri. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Sat. – 11 a.m. (Joe Louis Arena, Detroit)… Sun. – No Practice Scheduled… Mon. – 10:30 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Practice times are local and subject to change. Practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.
ROSTER REPORT: Mar. 19 – Added LW Alexandre Picard on emergency recall from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Mar. 18 – Assigned C Ben Simon to Syracuse (AHL)… Mar. 15 – Added C Ben Simon on emergency recall from Syracuse (AHL).
INJURY REPORT: C Sergei Fedorov (back strain) is day-to-day… C Mike Rupp (irregular heartbeat) is out for the season… D Bryan Berard (lower back injury, Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota) is out for the season.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Phoenix Coyotes – 31-33-4, 66 pts. (5th, Pacific Division)… Final of four meetings this season… Columbus is 6-9-4 in the all-time series, including 5-3-1 at home… Columbus is 2-1-0 this season, including wins in the last two games (5-4 at home on Mar. 9 and 5-2 at Phoenix on Jan. 8) after a 5-1 loss at Phoenix on Nov. 20… Head Coach: Wayne Gretzky… Players to Watch – LW Ladislav Nagy (15-41-56, 4 GWG in 51 games)… RW Shane Doan (34-29-53, 14 PPG, 5 GWG in 68 games)… G Curtis Joseph (26-20-2, 3.00 GAA, .897 SV%, 2 SO in 52 games)… Calgary Flames – 38-21-8, 84 pts. (1st, Northwest Division)… Final of four meetings this season… Jackets are 10-8-1 in the all-time series, including 5-2-0 at home… Columbus picked up a 2-1 shootout win at Calgary on Feb. 1 after losing 3-1 at home on Oct. 7 and 2-1 at Calgary on Nov. 3… Head Coach: Darryl Sutter… Players to Watch – RW Jarome Iginla (31-22-53, 14 PPG, 5 GWG in 67 games)… C Daymond Langkow (20-26-46, 10 PPG, 6 GWG in 67 games)… G Miikka Kiprusoff (34-17-8, 2.18 GAA, .918 SV%, 8 SO in 60 games)… Detroit Red Wings – 47-15-5, 99 pts. (1st, Central Division)… Sixth of eight meetings this season… Columbus is 4-16-6 in the all-time series, including 2-9-1 on the road… Detroit has won all five meetings this season with Columbus' lone point coming in a 4-3 shootout loss at Detroit on Dec. 20… Players to Watch – C Pavel Datsyuk (26-55-81, 11 PPG, 4 GWG in 67 games)… LW Henrik Zetterberg (35-39-74, 17 PPG, 8 GWG in 64 games)… G Manny Legace (29-8-2, 2.27 GAA, .910 SV%, 5 SO in 42 games).
WEEK IN REVIEW: Mar. 13 – St. Louis 3, at Blue Jackets 2 (OT): Christian Backman's goal at 3:49 of overtime lifted the Blues to a 3-2 overtime win. Columbus took a 1-0 lead after one period on a goal by Rick Nash, but trailed 2-1 late in the second period before Jason Chimera scored at the 17:21 mark to tie the game at 2-2 and a scoreless third period set the stage for overtime. Pascal Leclaire made 28 saves in net for Columbus. St. Louis, which went 2-of-7 on the power play, got 14 saves from Patrick Lalime who won in relief of Curtis Sanford. Sanford suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second period… Mar. 15 – at Chicago 3, Blue Jackets 2: The Blue Jackets battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the third period before Kyle Calder scored the game-winning goal at 9:55 of the final period. At 6:06 of the second period, Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Dan Fritsche on a penalty shot to preserve a 2-0 Chicago lead before Jody Shelley and Rick Nash scored to tie the game at 2-2. Khabibulin made 33 saves for Chicago to outduel Marc Denis (26 saves) in net… Mar. 17 – Vancouver 3, at Blue Jackets 2: The Jackets and Canucks traded goals throughout the game with Vancouver striking first on a goal by Mattias Ohlund late in the first period. Columbus tied the game at 1-1 on a second period goal by Ron Hainsey before Vancouver regained the lead on Anson Carter's goal at 7:56 of the third period. The Jackets tied the game at 2-2 just :40 later on a goal by Manny Malhotra before the Canucks' Brendan Morrison netted the game-winner with just 6:11 remaining in the period. Vancouver went 2-of-5 on the power play and held Columbus to 1-of-6. Pascal Leclaire made 30 saves for Columbus, while Alex Auld stopped 22-of-24 shots for the Canucks… Mar. 19 – Anaheim 4, at Blue Jackets 3: The Blue Jackets suffered their fourth-straight one-goal loss as Anaheim stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to win the game on a goal by Joffrey Lupul midway through the third period. Columbus led 3-1 early in the second thanks to goals by Nikolai Zherdev, Dan Fritsche and Rick Nash, but the Ducks got goals from Travis Moen and Corey Perry in a span of 1:24 (at 4:09 and 5:33, respectively) to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the third. After outshooting Anaheim 16 to 7 in the first period, Columbus was outshot 22 to 12 over the final two periods.
BERARD, RUPP TO MISS REST OF THE SEASON: D Bryan Berard and C Mike Rupp will each miss the remainder of the 2005-06 regular season. Berard has been sidelined since January 27 with a lower back injury and is expected to have surgery to repair the injury on March 28. In 44 games this season, he tallied 12-20-32 and 32 penalty minutes and set a new club record for power play goals by a defenseman with 11. Rupp scored a goal vs. Phoenix on March 9 and was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat the following day. He underwent surgery to correct the condition last week and while a full recovery is expected he will not return to action this season. He appeared in 40 games and registered 4-2-6 and 58 penalty minutes.
PLAYER NOTES: RW Nikolai Zherdev, who has scored 10 goals in his last 16 games, notched his 10th power play goal of the season vs. Anaheim on Mar. 19 and joins D Bryan Berard (12) as the first Blue Jackets teammates to score 10 or more power play goals in the same season… LW Rick Nash continues to score at a point per game pace since returning from injury on Dec. 17 as he has notched 21-17-38 in 37 games. He has an "even" plus/minus rating in 40 games this year after being -35 in 80 games in 2003-04… RW David Vyborny has tallied three assists over the last three games to raise his season totals to a career-high 33. With 16-33-49 in 66 games, he has surpassed his previous career best in assists and is four points shy of his personal best in points (22-31-53 in 82 games in 2003-04).
TEAM NOTES: The Blue Jackets are 21-12 in one-goal games this season, but have lost four in a row and six of their last nine after winning eight-straight from Jan. 14-Feb. 2… Columbus has gone 12-3 (including two shootout losses) in overtime games this season to improve to 27-21-33 all-time. Last Monday's 3-2 loss in St. Louis was the club's first non-shootout loss in overtime this season as the Jackets became the last team in the NHL to lose a game in overtime.
BLUE JACKETS SUPPORT BRITTANIE CECIL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND: The Blue Jackets will be raising money for The Brittanie Nicole Cecil Memorial Scholarship Fund, which distributes six $1000 scholarships to Ohio High School seniors each year in memory of Brittanie Cecil. The Blue Jackets will be holding special auctions and accepting donations at home games between March 19-24 in support of the fund. Fans attending these games will be able to bid on the following one of a kind items: Tuesday vs. Phoenix – autographed Adam Foote jersey, autographed Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers jersey; Friday vs. Calgary – autographed Rick Nash jersey, autographed Jarome Iginla Calgary Flames jersey. For more information or to contribute to the Brittanie Nicole Cecil Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit www.bncmemorial.org or send donation to: The Brittanie Nicole Cecil Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 1296, Hilliard, Ohio 43026, Phone: 614-777-1631, Tax ID Number: 04-3658399, Tax Exempt Number: 17053268270012.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Mar. 24 vs. Calgary Flames – Friday's game vs. Calgary is a "Regular Guy Night" featuring one ticket to the game, one Regular Guy hockey hat and a coupon for six free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings for just $23. Packages are available at www.BlueJackets.com or by calling (614) 246-PUCK.
JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3 -4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.
TICKET INFORMATION: Individual game and group tickets for Blue Jackets games at Nationwide Arena are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, the Chiller Easton, the Chiller Dublin and Chiller North, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (614) 431-3600 or via the internet at www.BlueJackets.com and ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.