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Coyotes at Blue Jackets preview

Columbus set for first game of season without Werenski; Arizona 2-2-2 in past six

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

COYOTES (15-9-4) at BLUE JACKETS (11-11-4)

7 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Columbus Blue Jackets will play their first game this season without injured defenseman Zach Werenski when they face the Arizona Coyotes at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday.

Werenski, third on the Blue Jackets with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists), injured his shoulder in a collision with New York Islanders forward Anders Lee on Saturday and is expected to be out four weeks.

Columbus is 5-1-0 on home ice since Nov. 15, outscoring opponents 21-13. 

The Coyotes play the first of four road games in six days. They're 2-2-2 in their past six after a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 30. 

 

Players to watch

Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak.

Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson has gone 15 games without scoring a goal and has one assist in that span. He had 47 points (20 goals, 27 assists) in 82 games last season.

 
They said it

"We've got a good older group and a hungry young group, so it's a good little mix. We know to a man when we're not at our best and we find a way to come back the next game and get the best out of ourselves." -- Coyotes forward Conor Garland

"He's a huge part of our defensive corps. No one can be a 'Z'. He's a unique player but we have depth on our 'D', so now it's up to us other guys to step up." -- Blue Jackets defenseman Dean Kukan on Zach Werenski

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Christian Dvorak -- Nick Schmaltz -- Conor Garland

Lawson Crouse -- Carl Soderberg -- Phil Kessel

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Jordan Oesterle -- Ilya Lyubushkin

Darcy Kuemper

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Aaron Ness, Barrett Hayton, Michael Chaput

Injured: Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body)

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Boone Jenner -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Sonny Milano -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Josh Anderson

Nick Foligno -- Alexander Wennberg -- Cam Atkinson

Alexandre Texier -- Riley Nash -- Eric Robinson

Ryan Murray -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Dean Kukan

Joonas Korpisalo

Elvis Merzlikins

Scratched: Andrew Peeke, Emil Bemstrom

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Markus Nutivaara (upper body), Kole Sherwood (oblique), Zach Werenski (shoulder)

 

Status report

Harrington, scratched the past seven games, will replace Werenski. … Robinson replaces Bemstrom. … Peeke was recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Monday.

 

Stat pack

Kuemper is first in goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.935) among NHL goalies who've played at least nine games this season. … Stepan needs one assist for 300 in his NHL career. …. Atkinson will play his 554th NHL game to pass Fedor Tyutin for second in Blue Jackets history. Rick Nash is first with 674.

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