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Blue Jackets News

Weekly Report: March 29, 2010

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

THIS WEEK'S GAME SCHEDULE/BROADCASTS - Times ET TV/Radio


Tue., Mar. 30 vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING, Nationwide Arena - 7 p.m.  FSO HD/1460, CD101
Thu., Apr. 1 at Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena - 7:30 p.m.             FSO HD/1460, CD101
Sat., Apr. 3 vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS, Nationwide Arena - 7 p.m.  FSO HD/1460, CD101

BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE
Record:
31-32-13, 75 pts. (Central Division: 5th; Western Conference: 14th)… Streak: 2-0-1… Home: 19-11-8, 46 pts. (3-0-1)… Road: 12-21-5, 29 pts. (1-0-0)… Last Week's Results: 2-1-1… Mar. 23 – at New Jersey 6, COLUMBUS 3… Mar. 25 – at COLUMBUS 8, Chicago 3… Mar. 27 – NY Islanders 4, at COLUMBUS 3 (OT)… Mar. 28 – COLUMBUS 4, at Chicago 2.

OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING:
Record: 30-33-12, 72 pts. (Southeast Division: 3rd place)… Head Coach: Rick Tocchet… The Lightning have gone 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and are 11-21-6 on the road this season… Tampa Bay has the eighth-best power play in the NHL at 19.2 pct.… Players to Watch: RW Martin St. Louis (leads club with 27-60-87, 7 GWG in 75 games)… C Steven Stamkos (2008 No. 1 overall pick is third in NHL in goals with 45-41-86, 20 PPG in 75 games)… C Vincent Lecavalier (has 22-44-66 in 75 games)… Jackets vs. Lightning: 3-4-2 (2-1-1 at home, 1-3-1 on the road)… This is just the fourth meeting between the teams since 2003-04… The home team has won the last three contests… Tampa Bay earned a 2-1 OT win on Mar. 24, 2009, while Columbus earned a 5-3 win on Mar. 9, 2008 in the last game at Nationwide Arena.

DETROIT RED WINGS: Record: 39-23-3, 91 pts. (Central Division: 3rd place)… Head Coach: Mike Babcock… The Red Wings are riding a nine-game regulation unbeaten streak (8-0-1) since a 4-2 loss vs. Calgary on Mar. 9 and have won five-straight… Detroit ranks ninth in the NHL on the power play (19.0 pct.) and in penalty killing (83.9 pct.)… Players to Watch: LW Henrik Zetterberg (leads club with 23-42-65, 6 GWG in 67 games)… C Pavel Datsyuk (has 24-38-62, 8 PPG in 73 games)… D Nicklas Lidstrom (has 8-39-47, +22 in 75 games)… Jackets vs. Red Wings: 15-31-8 (9-13-6 at home, 6-18-2 on the road)… The Jackets are 9-11-1 in the last 21 regular season meetings… The teams split the six regular season meetings in 2008-09 with each notching two wins at home and one on the road… The Red Wings won the first two games this season – 9-1 at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 11 and 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 26 – before a 1-0 OT home win by the Jackets on Dec. 28.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS: Record: 49-15-11, 109 pts. (Southeast Division: 1st place)… Head Coach: Bruce Boudreau… The Caps own the NHL’s best record, as well as the best home (27-5-4) and road (22-10-7) marks… Washington is the NHL's top-scoring team (3.83 goals per game) and owns the top power play unit (25.8 pct.)… Players to Watch: LW Alex Ovechkin (Reigning MVP has 46-54-100 in 65 games)… C Nicklas Backstrom (has 29-61-90 in 75 games)… LW Alexander Semin (has 35-39-74 in 66 games)… Jackets vs. Capitals: 4-4-3 (3-2-2 at home, 1-2-1 on the road)… The Jackets won both meetings last year (3-0 at home on Nov. 29, 2008 and 3-0 on the road on Jan. 9, 2009) after going 1-4-2 in the previous seven games vs. the Caps… Columbus earned a 5-4 overtime win at Verizon Center on Nov. 1 in an earlier meeting this season.


PRACTICE SCHEDULE, Mar. 30-Apr. 5 (subject to change) - CLICK HERE


OhioHealth INJURY REPORT

D Rostislav Klesla
(Injured Reserve on Dec. 1 retroactive to Nov. 30) is out indefinitely… C Derek MacKenzie (Injured Reserve retroactive to Mar. 9) is expected to miss at least one month… D Jan Hejda (Mar. 13 vs. Edmonton) is expected to miss the rest of the season… RW Jared Boll (Mar. 23 at New Jersey) and RW Chris Clark (Mar. 28 at Chicago) will both miss the remainder of the season… Man Games Lost to Injury: 237.

ROSTER REPORT
Mar. 28 –
Added C Trevor Frischmon to the roster on emergency recall from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Mar. 22 – Recalled D Grant Clitsome from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL).

A STAR IS BORN? VORACEK THRIVING LATE IN SECOND SEASON
After tallying 9-29-38 in 80 games a year ago and falling one point short of Rick Nash’s club rookie scoring record (17-22-39 in 74 games in 2002-03), RW Jakub Voracek is one point shy of the 50-point mark with 16-33-49 in 75 games this season. Voracek has collected 8-13-21 and is +8 in his last 17 games, including 4-3-7 and +4 in four games last week. He matched his career high for points with 1-2-3, scoring on the first penalty shot attempt of his career, vs. Chicago on Mar. 25 and then racked up 2-1-3 vs. the Blackhawks on Mar. 28. He now ranks third on the club in assists and is fifth in goals and points.

UMBERGER SETS CAREER HIGH FOR POINTS
LW R.J. Umberger is riding a four-game point streak (1-4-5) and with two assists at Chicago on Mar. 28 raised his season point total to 21-31-52 in 76 games. His 52 points are the most in his five-year NHL career, surpassing the 13-37-50 he registered with Philadelphia in 2007-08. The former Ohio State All-American ranks fourth on the club in goals, assists and points this season, while ranking second in shots on goal (200) and third in power play (seven) and game-winning (four) goals.

VERMETTE PUSHING NASH FOR TEAM LEAD IN POINTS
C Antoine Vermette has notched 11-13-24 in his last 24 games, including 5-8-13 in his last 10, to raise his season totals to a career-high 25-37-62 in 76 games. He enters the final two weeks of the season trailing Rick Nash (31-32-63), who has led the team in scoring the past two seasons, by one point for the team lead.

TEAM NEWS & NOTES
Columbus has gone 6-2-2 in its last 10 games and is 7-2-3 in its last 11 at home… The Blue Jackets need seven points in their final six games to reach 82 points for just the second time in franchise history (92 points in 2008-09)… The Jackets have scored three or more goals in 12 of the past 17 games and are 7-2-3 in those contests... The Mar. 27 game vs. the NY Islanders marked the 731st game in Blue Jackets history and the first in which the club was not whistled for a penalty… RW Rick Nash has collected points in 16 of the past 23 games (12-9-21), and is riding a three-game point streak (1-3-4)… G Mathieu Garon is 6-0-4 with a 2.17 GAA, .926 SV% and one shutout in 11 appearances at Nationwide Arena this season… RW Andrew Murray has scored four goals in his last 13 games after being shutout in his first 29 of the season… D Mike Commodore scored his first two goals of the season vs. Chicago last week – one each on Mar. 25 at home and Mar. 28 on the road... C/RW Mike Blunden scored his first NHL goal vs. Chicago on Mar. 25… D Grant Clitsome notched his first NHL goal on Mar. 27 vs. the NY Islanders and has collected 1-2-3 with a +4 plus/minus rating in five games with the Jackets this season.

JACKETS GET OFFENSIVE
In 18 games since Claude Noel took over as interim head coach on Feb. 3, the Blue Jackets have scored 55 goals (3.06 per game). The total matches the number the club scored over the previous 27 games (2.03 per game) compares to the 150 goals scored in the first 58 games of the season (2.59). The Blue Jackets have posted a 9-5-4 record under Noel.

PENALTY SHOT NOTABLES
RW Jakub Voracek scored the game-winning goal on a penalty shot at 11:02 of the second period vs. Chicago (Cristobal Huet) on Mar. 25, becoming the first Jacket to score a penalty shot goal this season (second attempt – Rick Nash, Oct. 25 at Los Angeles)… The last penalty shot goal scored prior to Voracek's was Nash on Jan. 2, 2009 vs. Colorado (Peter Budaj)… Nash had taken the previous seven penalty shots by a Blue Jacket since Mar. 15, 2006 – Dan Fritsche at Chicago (no goal vs. Nikolai Khabibulin)… The last Blue Jacket not named Nash to score a penalty shot goal prior to Voracek was David Vyborny – Dec. 17, 2005 at Nashville (Tomas Vokoun)… The last CBJ penalty shot goal scored at Nationwide Arena came on Mar. 19, 2001 – Vyborny vs. Nashville (Vokoun).

JACKETS SIGN AFFILIATION AGREEMENT WITH SPRINGFIELD FALCONS
The Blue Jackets announced on Mar. 25 that the club reached an agreement with the Springfield (Mass.) Falcons to serve as the organization's American Hockey League affiliate. The one-year affiliation agreement is for the 2010-11 season with an additional one-year option. The Falcons will enter their 17th AHL season in 2010-11, while the AHL has been a part of the Greater Springfield area dating back to 1936 and the Springfield Indians. The Falcons play their home games in the 6,789-seat MassMutual Center.

FORWARD TOGETHER
Forward Together is a group of citizens celebrating the remarkable transformation that has occurred in Columbus since the arrival of the Arena District, Nationwide Arena and the Blue Jackets. This group wants to see that growth continue, believes the city would be harmed without the Blue Jackets and supports a solution to the current financial challenges involving the team and arena. For more information and to sign a petition encouraging those involved to find a solution, please visit their website at www.forwardtogethercolumbus.org.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
Tuesday, Mar. 30 vs. Tampa Bay –
TICKET AND MEAL DEAL presented by FOX Sports Ohio: Fans can purchase a ticket in the upper bowl and a $10 food and beverage voucher, which is valued at $54, for just $35.

Saturday, Apr. 3 vs. Washington – DISPATCH FAMILY VALUE PACK: This special pack includes a game ticket, hot dog, popcorn, Pepsi, a voucher for UDF ice cream and Dispatch Ice Haus skate pass for just $25 per person.

FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT IS APR. 9 VS. DETROIT
The Blue Jackets will close the 2009-10 season on FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, Apr. 9. All fans in attendance will receive a 2009-10 team photo poster courtesy of Ohio Mulch. The evening will also include a variety of giveaways throughout the night, highlighted by the annual JERSEY OFF OUR BACKS SWEEPSTAKES in which lucky fans will receive autographed game-worn jerseys from all players on the ice following the game. Fans can enter for a chance to win prior to the game by logging on to http://www.formspring.com/forms/?940741-lq0GzAulxr. One winner will receive two tickets to the game and the opportunity to go onto the ice following the game to receive a jersey from a Blue Jackets player. The deadline for entry is Wednesday, April 7, 2010. The winner will be drawn on Thursday, April 8, 2010 and notified via a phone call and email. Other winners will be selected randomly.

WEEKLY GIVEAWAY/FOUR TICKETS TO TUESDAY'S GAME VS. TAMPA BAY
The Blue Jackets are giving fans the opportunity to win weekly prizes including game tickets, autographed jerseys and memorabilia each week via the club's multiple digital platforms. Fans that visit BlueJackets.com, follow the team on Facebook, get Twitter updates or receive Verizon Wireless Jackets Alerts will have the chance to win each week through April 11. This week, one lucky fan will win four tickets to Tuesday's game vs. Tampa Bay. Just follow the Blue Jackets Twitter feed at www.Twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL on Monday and Tuesday for a chance to win.

ONE LUCKY WINNER TO RECEIVE TICKETS TO NATIONWIDE ARENA EVENTS FOR A YEAR
The Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena are again teaming up with Donatos Pizza, Pepsi and QFM96 radio to present the sixth annual "Destinationwide" contest in which one lucky fan will win a pair of tickets to nearly every game, concert and special event at Nationwide Arena over the next year. The grand prize winner will be announced on Fan Appreciation Night on Friday, Apr. 9 vs. the Detroit Red Wings. Starting today, QFM96's morning show, Wags & Elliott, will draw two qualifiers from the registrant pool each weekday morning between 6-10 a.m. for a total of 10 qualifiers. Each qualifier will win a $25 Donatos gift card, a Pepsi prize pack, and an invitation to the Blue Jackets Fan Appreciation Night on Friday, Apr. 9. The 10 qualifiers plus one "wild card" entrant selected at the game will be highlighted during an intermission break when Wags & Elliott will announce the grand prize winner. For official contest rules and grand prize events, visit www.qfm96.com.

BIG LOTS BIG SEATS
Big Lots is offering fans the chance to enjoy exciting NHL action from the comfort of the "Big Lots Big Seats," four recliners positioned to provide a great view of the action, for all remaining Blue Jackets home games at Nationwide Arena. Fans can enter for their chance to win at one of 21 Columbus-area Big Lots stores. For locations and entry methods, visit www.biglots.com/bigseats.

BLUE JACKETS VIEWING LOCATIONS
Fans can follow the Jackets on television throughout the 2009-10 season at a number of official viewing locations. This select group of restaurants and bars will offer a unique atmosphere for fans gathering to watch the Blue Jackets, along with tickets, T-shirts and poster giveaways. Also, each of the 10 partners will host one exclusive viewing party that will be highlighted by the presence of Blue Jackets personalities and include additional giveaways. Visit www.BlueJackets.nhl.com/viewinglocations for complete information on all viewing locations and register to win one grand prize – four season tickets for the 2010-11 season and one team autographed pub mirror.

BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
The Coach's Show can be heard on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m., hosted by Blue Jackets play by play announcer Jeff Rimer and featuring interim head coach Claude Noel… Breakfast with the Blue Jackets can be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.

BLUE JACKETS ONLINE/SOCIAL MEDIA
Fans can follow the Blue Jackets online, watch game highlights, press conferences and exclusive behind-the-scenes video content on Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com. Fans can also get up-to-the-minute news and stories by following the Blue Jackets on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL. Become a fan on the club’s official Facebook ® page to get the latest club news and promotions, videos, photos, updates and interact with other Blue Jackets fans at www.facebook.com/OfficialColumbusBlueJackets.

TICKET INFORMATION
Single Game:
Tickets are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line Team Stores at the Chiller Easton, Chiller Dublin, Chiller North and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at BlueJackets.com and Ticketmaster.com… Season & Group Tickets: For information on season tickets, six-game, 10-game and 20-game plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS… Huntington Green Seats: A minimum of 250 tickets are available for just $10 at the Nationwide Arena Box Office two hours prior to every home game… White Castle Rush CBJ presented by easyColumbus Student Tickets: College students with a valid, full-time student I.D. can purchase two tickets in select lower level ($25) and upper level ($15) seats beginning one hour before game time at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office as part of the club's Rush CBJ program. Seat locations are subject to availability.

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