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Johansen, Jones set to face former teams

Predators play Blue Jackets for first time since Jan. 6 trade

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (30-36-8) at PREDATORS (38-23-13)

TV: 8 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-TN, NHL.TV

NASHVILLE -- The Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators will play at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday for the first time since a blockbuster trade that sent defenseman Seth Jones from Nashville to Columbus in exchange for center Ryan Johansen.

The Blue Jackets and Predators made the trade Jan. 6, and Johansen has helped propel the Predators into a race for positioning in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and helped balance out the rest of the offensive attack. The Predators enter Saturday two points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for third place in the Central Division.

Johansen has seven goals and 18 assists in 34 games with the Predators. He's looking forward to playing against his old teammates Saturday.

"This one would feel good to win, for sure," Johansen said. "It'll be interesting seeing all of those guys and being on the same ice playing against them. I'm looking forward to it now. It should be a fun night."

Jones has been relied upon more and played added minutes in his time in Columbus. He has spent most of his time on Columbus' top defensive pairing with Ryan Murray and has enjoyed the added responsibility.

"It's been great," Jones said. "I feel very comfortable. My teammates have done a great job of helping me through it. I've been playing with [Murray] for the most part besides a couple games, and he's been fantastic. We play very well together and he's smart. The first couple of weeks I was telling him to push me around, tell me where to go and I feel very comfortable now though with the minutes I'm playing. I'm happy with how I'm doing."

Predators forward Paul Gaustad participated in practice Friday but isn't expected to play against the Blue Jackets.

Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin did not make the trip to Nashville and is out with an undisclosed injury.

Here are the projected lineups:

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Brandon Saad - Boone Jenner - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Nick Foligno
William Karlsson - Rene Bourque - Gregory Campbell

Ryan Murray - Seth Jones
David Savard - Dalton Prout
Dean Kukan - Cody Goloubef

Joonas Korpisalo
Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Michael Chaput, Jared Boll, John Ramage
Injured: Fedor Tyutin (undisclosed), David Clarkson (lower body), Jack Johnson (shoulder), Curtis McElhinney (knee)

Calle Jarnkrok - Ryan Johansen - James Neal
Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith
Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Viktor Arvidsson
Eric Nystrom - Colton Sissons - Miikka Salomaki

Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm - Petter Granberg
Barret Jackman - Ryan Ellis

Pekka Rinne
Carter Hutton

Injured: Paul Gaustad (upper body), Gabriel Bourque (upper body)
Scratched: Austin Watson

Status report: Korpisalo is expected to start for the Blue Jackets. … Chaput is available for the Blue Jackets as a precaution due to forwards being banged-up, according to Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella. The Predators held an optional morning skate. Rinne is expected to start.

Who's hot: Jenner has three goals and two assists in his past five games. … Neal has six goals and two assists in his past five games.

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