AVALANCHE (35-24-7) at BLUE JACKETS (34-28-5)
7 p.m. ET; FS-O, ALT, NHL.TV
The Columbus Blue Jackets will try for their third straight victory when they play the Colorado Avalanche at Nationwide Arena on Thursday.
The Blue Jackets hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference; they are two points ahead of the Florida Panthers and four in front of the Carolina Hurricanes. Columbus trails the New Jersey Devils by three points for the first wild card.
Colorado has lost its past two games in overtime and is 4-1-3 in its past seven games. They are tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card from the Western Conference
Players to watch
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) during a six-game point streak. He leads the Avalanche and is tied with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning for fifth in the NHL with 78 points (32 goals, 46 assists).
Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games.
They said it
"We're disappointed how the last two ended. Those extra points, you could miss the playoffs by one point and look back and maybe that's it." -- Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie on losing the past two games in overtime
"This is a really fun time of the year. That's why the dog days are called that. Everyone wants to play now and you wish you could just fast forward to get here." -- Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno
Avalanche projected lineup
Tyson Jost -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Gabriel Landeskog -- Alexander Kerfoot -- J.T. Compher
Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau
Sven Andrighetto -- Dominic Toninato -- Gabriel Bourque
Nikita Zadorov -- Tyson Barrie
Patrik Nemeth -- Samuel Girard
Duncan Siemens -- Anton Lindholm
Scratched: Mark Alt, Nail Yakupov
Injured: Mark Barberio (upper body), Andrew Hammond (concussion), Erik Johnson (upper body), Vladislav Kamenev (fractured arm), Colin Wilson (concussion)
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson
Sonny Milano -- Nick Foligno -- Oliver Bjorkstrand
Matt Calvert -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Mark Letestu
Thomas Vanek -- Alexander Wennberg -- Boone Jenner
Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones
Ryan Murray -- Jack Johnson
Ian Cole -- David Savard
Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Scott Harrington, Markus Hannikainen, Lukas Sedlak, Jeff Zatkoff
Injured: Dean Kukan (upper body), Markus Nutivaara (upper body), Josh Anderson (knee)
Varlamov will make his 10th straight start. Andrighetto (lower body) returns after missing 28 games since Dec. 31. Jost and Landeskog switched lines. … Korpisalo will make his second straight start while Bobrovsky recovers from illness. Korpisalo made 37 saves in a 4-1 win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Colorado is 18-6-2 with one tie in 27 games at Nationwide Arena. Barrie has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. … Dubois has four points (one goal, three assists) in the past two games.