COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (32-41-4, 68 pts./3rd Central Division)
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT - ARENA TIME TV/RADIO
Tue., Apr. 11 at Dallas Stars, American Airlines Center 8:30 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Thu., Apr. 13 vs. St. Louis Blues, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Sat., Apr. 15 vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
Sun., Apr. 16 at Chicago Blackhawks, United Center 7 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 Apr. 11-17 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 11:30 a.m. (American Airlines Center, Dallas)… Wed. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Thu. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Fri. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Sat. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Sun. – 11:30 a.m. optional (United Center, Chicago)… Mon. – 11 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 & INJURY REPORT: Apr. 6: Added C Dan Fritsche to the roster on emergency recall from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Apr. 4: Assigned C Dan Fritsche to Syracuse (AHL)… Injuries: RW Nikolai Zherdev (sprained knee, Apr. 1 vs. Chicago) is day-to-day… C Mike Rupp (irregular heartbeat) and D Bryan Berard (lower back injury, Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota) are out for the season.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Dallas Stars – 51-22-5, 107 pts. (1st, Pacific Division)… Third of four meetings this season… Columbus is 2-15-1 in the all-time series, including an 0-8-1 mark on the road… Dallas has won both meetings this season, 6-3 at home on Nov. 18 and 5-3 at Nationwide Arena on Dec. 21… Head Coach: Dave Tippett… Players to Watch – C Mike Modano (27-47-74, 12 PPG in 75 games)… C Jason Arnott (30-43-73, 10 PPG, 5 GWG in 78 games)… G Marty Turco (40-18-5, 2.55 GAA, .898 SV%, 3 SO in 66 games)… St. Louis Blues – 21-42-14, 56 pts. (5th, Central Division)… Final of eight meetings this season… Jackets are 9-13-5 in the all-time series, including 6-4-2 at home… Columbus is 4-2-1 this season, including 2-1-0 at home, and have won the season series against the Blues for the first time… Head Coach: Mike Kitchen… Players to Watch – RW Scott Young (17-31-48, 10 PPG in 74 games)… LW Keith Tkachuk (15-21-36, 10 PPG in 37 games)… G Patrick Lalime (4-18-8, 3.64 GAA, .881 SV% in 31 games)… Chicago Blackhawks – 24-40-13, 61 pts. (4th, Central Division)… Seventh and eighth of eight meetings this season… Columbus is 12-13-2 in the all-time series, including 8-5-1 at home… The Blue Jackets are 4-2-0 this season, but have lost two of the last three meetings… Players to Watch – LW Kyle Calder (22-32-54, 4 GWG in 74 games)… LW Mark Bell (24-21-45, 10 PPG in 77 games)… G Nikolai Khabibulin (16-23-6, 3.32 GAA, .888 SV% in 46 games).
WEEK IN REVIEW: Apr. 3 – Blue Jackets 3, at Nashville 1: Pascal Leclaire made 36 saves to lead the Blue Jackets to a 3-1 win, which set a franchise record for consecutive wins with six. Nashville took a 1-0 lead 1:09 into the game on a power play goal by Dan Hamhuis, but Columbus responded with a Manny Malhotra goal to tie the game at 1-1 after one period. In the second period, Columbus killed off five Nashville power plays and Jason Chimera scored the lone goal of the period to give his club a 2-1 lead. Mark Hartigan added an insurance tally in the third… Apr. 7 – at Detroit 6, Blue Jackets 5 (SO): For the second time in two weeks, Columbus overcame a three-goal deficit at Joe Louis Arena but this time it was the Red Wings who prevailed as Tomas Holmstrom scored the lone tally in the shootout in round five. Trailing 4-1 midway through the second period, the Jackets got goals from Mark Hartigan, Dan Fritsche and Rick Nash to tie the game at 4-4. After Detroit took a 5-4 lead in the third on a goal by Kris Draper, Nash completed his first career hat trick by scoring his third goal of the game with :33 left in regulation to force overtime. Marc Denis made 31 saves and stopped 4-of-5 in the shootout, while Manny Legace made 18 saves and stopped all five Jacket shootout attempts… Apr. 8 – Detroit 4, at Blue Jackets 2: Chris Osgood made 27 saves to outduel Pascal Leclaire (26 saves) to lead Detroit to the win. Columbus took a 1-0 lead 3:03 into the game on a goal by Jan Hrdina before the Red Wings went ahead 2-1 after one on goals by Brendan Shanahan and Tomas Holmstrom. Manny Malhotra tied the game at 2-2 at 9:24 of the second, but Jason Williams netted the game-winner just 1:55 later and Chris Chelios added an empty net goal to lift Detroit.
HARTIGAN FINDS SCORING TOUCH: C Mark Hartigan was among the American Hockey League's leading scorers this season before his most recent recall to the Blue Jackets. He tallied 34-41-75 in just 49 games with the Crunch and still ranks 13th in the league in scoring. During several stints with Columbus, he had been held to 1-0-1 in 22 games before going on a tear of late. In his last six games, Hartigan has racked up 5-2-7 with a pair of multi-point games (career-high 2-1-3 vs. Chicago on Apr. 1 and 1-1-2 at Detroit on Apr. 7).
NASH COLLECTS FIRST CAREER HAT TRICK, ONE GOAL SHY OF 30 FOR THE SEASON: After registering 11 two-goal games during his three NHL seasons, LW Rick Nash collected the first hat trick of his career at Detroit on Apr. 7 as he scored three goals in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Red Wings. His third goal of the game came with :33 left in regulation and forced overtime. Nash has now tallied 12-7-19 in his last 15 games to raise his season totals to 29-20-49 in 49 games. His point production has all come in the last 46 games since he returned from injury on Dec. 17. He also boasts a +2 plus/minus rating this season compared to -35 in 2003-04 and has raised his scoring on the road to 31 points this season from 22 in 2003-04.
MALHOTRA SHINES DOWN THE STRETCH: C Manny Malhotra began the season by registering 2-13-15 in his first 24 games before missing 24-of-25 games between Nov. 30 – Jan. 21 due to injury. After being held to 0-4-4 in his first 12 games back in the lineup, he has tallied 7-3-10 with an even plus/minus rating in his last 16 games, collecting points in 10 of those contests.
RECORD SIX-GAME WINNING STREAK HALTED AT DETROIT: Last Friday's 6-5 shootout loss at Detroit ended the Blue Jackets' franchise record winning streak at six games. The streak began with a 3-2 win vs. Calgary on Mar. 24 and includes wins at Detroit (5-4 shootout on Mar. 25), vs. San Jose (4-1 on Mar. 28), at St. Louis (4-2 on Mar. 31) vs. Chicago (5-2 on Apr. 1) and at Nashville (3-1 on Apr. 3). The streak, in which the Blue Jackets fell behind 1-0 in all six games, broke the previous club record of five wins in a row set earlier this season (Jan. 24 – Feb. 2 over Vancouver, Minnesota, Nashville, Calgary and Edmonton). Prior to this season, the club record for consecutive wins was four (Nov. 9-16, 2000 and Mar. 21-27, 2004).
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Apr. 11 – "Buffalo Wild Wings Watch Party at Polaris location… Apr. 13 vs. St. Louis – UDF Homemade Brand Premium Ice Cream Poster Series Giveaway #3 (Adam Foote); COSI Star Wars Night – COSI and the Blue Jackets are teaming up to give fans a preview of the “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” exhibit, coming to COSI this summer. Meet your favorite Star Wars characters including Darth Vader, Jengo Fett, and Stormstroopers. The game is also the final Dispatch/Mix 97.1 Family Night … Apr. 15 vs. Chicago – Sugardale Dollar Hot Dog Night; Bryan Trottier Appearance – Fans can meet the Hall of Famer and six-time Stanley Cup champion as he will be signing autographs on the concourse prior to the game... Apr. 18 vs. Dallas – FANtastic FANale V: The season finale will again give fans the chance to win the Jerseys of Our Backs immediately following the game, as well as other festivities throughout the night. The grand prize winner of the Jet Away to the Cup contest will also be determined… Schwebel's Puck Pack: Fans who purchase this special package to either the Apr. 13 St. Louis or Apr. 18 Dallas games will receive one ticket and a commemorative Rick Nash puck for just $23.
JET AWAY TO THE CUP CONTEST: Fans can register now for a chance to “Jet to the Cup” as the Blue Jackets and Jetride Aircraft Management will provide one winner and three guests private charter jet transportation to a 2006 Stanley Cup Finals game, four tickets to the game and overnight hotel accommodations. Entry forms are available at The Blueline or at Nationwide Arena behind sections 112 or 209 during all remaining home games with online entry at www.mix971.net or www.sportsradio1460.com are available from April 1, 2006 through April 14. Fans can also enter the WBNS 10TV "Watch to Win" contest on Wall to Wall Sports or enter by listening to CD101.1 FM for an on-air contest. Nine contestants will be chosen to participate in an on-ice contest to determine the winner during Fantastic Finale V when the Jackets take on the Dallas Stars on April 18.
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 10-11 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.