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Preview: Blues at Blue Jackets

by Chris Pinkert / Notes by Brett Barczewski


When: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. CT
Watch: FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports App
Listen: KMOX 1120 AM, NHL App



BLUES It will have been 10 days since the Blues last played a game, but a 5-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 23 meant the club was feeling good about themselves during the NHL All-Star break and bye week.

The Blues have had two practices since the All-Star break to get ready.

"I thought they were good practices, both of them," Blues Head Coach Craig Berube said. "Guys were working really hard. The execution was good."

As their season resumes, the Blues find themselves just three points out of a Wild Card spot. The team is optimistic about their chances, and some of the reasons why are documented.

The Blues will get Robert Thomas back in the lineup on Saturday. Thomas has been out since suffering an upper-body injury on Jan. 10.

Video: Vitale, Pang preview Blues / Blue Jackets

BLUE JACKETS The Columbus Blue Jackets had their bye week before the NHL All-Star break, so they will have played two games already before hosting the Blues on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena.

The Blue Jackets are 0-2 since the All-Star break, falling 5-4 to Buffalo on Jan. 29 and losing 4-3 to Winnipeg on Thursday.

"It's a hard one for our guys, for sure," Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella said after Thursday's loss to Winnipeg. "They played hard, did a lot better job as far as what we asked for them in the battles. It's a tough one not to come up with anything."

The Blue Jackets, who are on a season-long four-game losing streak, sit in the final Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference with a 28-19-3 record (59 points).

HEAD-TO-HEAD Saturday's matchup will be the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Blue Jackets won the first meeting 7-4 in St. Louis back on Oct. 25.

The Blues swept the season series with the Blue Jackets last season, outscoring Columbus 6-2 in those games.

The Blues are 7-5-0 in their last 12 trips to Nationwide Arena.

Vladimir Tarasenko has 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 14 career games against the Blue Jackets.

Video: Blues, Blue Jackets battle at Nationwide Arena


David Perron (upper-body injury) did not join the team for the start of the three-game road trip, but Berube didn't rule out Perron joining the team later… Ryan O'Reilly is one assist shy of 300 for his NHL career. Brayden Schenn is one assist shy of 200… Tarasenko led the Blues with six goals in the month of January, while Perron and Oskar Sundqvist ranked second with four goals each… O'Reilly led the Blues with 15 points in Jnauary, which ranked sixth in the NHL… The Blues have points in six of their last eight road games (5-2-1).

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