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Blue Jackets, minus Dubinsky, go for sweep of Blues

by Louie Korac / NHL.com

BLUE JACKETS (10-14-0) at BLUES (14-6-3)

TV: FS-O, FS-MW

ST. LOUIS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without center Brandon Dubinsky for their game against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at Scottrade Center.

Dubinsky was suspended one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety for cross-checking Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby in the back of the neck with 1:20 remaining in the second period Friday.

Dubinsky has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 18 games this season.

The Blue Jackets, who held an optional skate with five players on the ice Saturday morning, did not address the matter.

Goalie Curtis McElhinney was one of the skaters but Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 24 saves in the 2-1 overtime victory Friday, will start in back-to-back games.

The Blues, who held a more populated optional skate, have not played since a 4-3 overtime loss to the Penguins on Wednesday. It will be the second time in 12 days the Blues and Blue Jackets will square off.

Columbus won 3-1 at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 17. It was the second of back-to-back games for the Blues, who are catching the Blue Jackets in the same scenario Saturday.

"They outplayed us substantially in the last game in their building," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They won a lot of the puck battles, they won a lot of the puck fights that ended up allowing them to have possession. We were on our heels for most of that game, so hopefully we got a little more energy to play tonight. They caught us on a back-to-back off a real physical game. Now we've got them on back-to-back so hopefully we can have a little more energy in the game."

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said his message to his players was for them to not get comfortable.

"These games get you out of the playoffs or put you in," he said.

Here are the projected lineups:

BLUE JACKETS

Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Nick Foligno

Scott Hartnell - William Karlsson - Brandon Saad

Cam Atkinson - Gregory Campbell - Matt Calvert

Kerby Rychel - Alexander Wennberg - Markus Hannikainen

Jack Johnson - David Savard

Ryan Murray - Andrew Bodnarchuk

Kevin Connauton - Justin Falk

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Injured: Fedor Tyutin (nose), Cody Goloubef (jaw), Rene Bourque (upper body), David Clarkson (back), Jared Boll (foot)

Scratched: Dalton Prout

Suspended: Brandon Dubinsky

BLUES

Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi - Jori Lehtera - Scottie Upshall

Robby Fabbri - David Backes - Troy Brouwer

Steve Ott - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Patrik Berglund (shoulder)

Scratched: Scott Gomez, Dmitrij Jaskin, Robert Bortuzzo

Status report: Hannikainen will make his NHL debut. … Edmundson will replace Bortuzzo after being a healthy scratch the past two games. Upshall will replace Jaskin, who has played in 22 of 23 games.

Who's hot: Shattenkirk has a seven-game point streak (two goals, seven assists). Stastny has at least a point in five of seven games played this season. … Atkinson has a point in four straight and six of the past seven games. Johansen has seven points in seven games. Saad has a point in six of the past eight games.

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