NASHVILLE -- Coming off a disappointing 6-1 loss Thursday to the Chicago Blackhawks that snapped a three-game winning streak, the Columbus Blue Jackets are looking to shuffle their forwards when they visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
The Blue Jackets also might have a new face on defense, as well, owing to a slew of injuries to their blue line.
Columbus coach Todd Richards said forward Blake Comeau, who has played in one of the past 20 games because of a knee injury, would return, as would Corey Tropp.
"Adding Tropp in the lineup, Comeau in the lineup, some physical players … getting some guys in the lineup, some straight-line players that can hopefully provide a physical edge for us but also just a spark in getting in on the forecheck," Richards said.
With Comeau and Tropp in, Richards revealed he might scratch forwards Cam Atkinson and Matt Frattin.
"Just trying to find guys. It's not like he [Atkinson] was the only bad player in Chicago," Richards said. "We had other guys, too. It's trying to find the right line combinations, trying to find the right things that will work. We'll see how this game goes. We may be juggling the lineup, juggling players in and out of the lineup on Monday but I believe [with] this group we're going to have success."
In terms of their defense, the Blue Jackets will likely have three regulars out. Fedor Tyutin remains on injured reserve following an ankle injury he sustained at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nikita Nikitin sustained a head injury Thursday and is not expected to play.
Rookie defenseman Ryan Murray, who has played in 61 games and averaged 19:47 in time on ice, had knee surgery Friday and will miss the rest of the regular season, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
One of two rookies, either Frederic St. Denis or Cody Goloubef, is going to take Nikitin's spot in the lineup. Murray's absence has been filled in part by the acquisition of Nick Schultz from the Edmonton Oilers.
Here are the projected lineups for the Predators and Blue Jackets:
Nick Foligno – Ryan Johansen – Boone Jenner
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Nathan Horton
RJ Umberger – Artem Anisimov – Corey Tropp
Blake Comeau – Derek MacKenzie – Mark Letestu
Jack Johnson – David Savard
Nick Schultz – James Wisniewski
Frederic St, Denis – Dalton Prout
Injured: Nikita Nikitin (head), Ryan Murray (knee), Fedor Tyutin (ankle), Jared Boll (ankle)
Scratched: Cody Goloubef, Cam Atkinson, Matt Frattin.
Nick Spaling – Mike Fisher – Patric Hornqvist
Gabriel Bourque - Colin Wilson – Craig Smith
Eric Nystrom - Matt Cullen – Viktor Stalberg
Rich Clune – Paul Gaustad – Patrick Eaves
Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Michael Del Zotto – Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm – Seth Jones
Scratched: Victor Bartley