BLUE JACKETS (43-29-5) at FLAMES (35-32-10)
9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-O, NHL.TV
The Columbus Blue Jackets look to gain in the race for second place in the Metropolitan Division when they visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.
The Blue Jackets, 11-1-0 in their past 12 games, hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and trail the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers by one point each for second in the Metropolitan. Philadelphia has played one more game than Pittsburgh and Columbus.
The Flames, who have been outscored 28-7 during a six-game losing streak (0-6-0), were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention on Monday.
Players to watch
Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past five games, and 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in his past 19 games.
Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past six games, and leads all NHL defensemen with 16 goals this season.
They said it
"It's been crazy, especially for us. We have been winning a lot and you look at the standings and you don't make up much ground. Teams around you are winning. With five games to go, we still have a tough job here." -- Blue Jackets forward Thomas Vanek
"You come into camp every year with that excitement … especially with our team and the potential we have. The bottom line is we haven't been able to reach it. It makes for a tough couple weeks here, but we're professionals in this dressing room." -- Flames forward Curtis Lazar
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner -- Alexander Wennberg -- Thomas Vanek
Sonny Milano -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Oliver Bjorkstrand
Matt Calvert -- Mark Letestu -- Markus Hannikainen
Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones
Ian Cole -- David Savard
Ryan Murray -- Markus Nutivaara
Scratched: Scott Harrington, Jack Johnson, Taylor Chorney, Dean Kukan, Alex Broadhurst, Eric Robinson
Injured: Nick Foligno (lower body), Lukas Sedlak (upper body), Josh Anderson (knee)
Flames projected lineup
Sam Bennett -- Mikael Backlund -- Troy Brouwer
Michael Frolik -- Mark Jankowski -- Chris Stewart
Micheal Ferland -- Nick Shore -- Curtis Lazar
Tanner Glass -- Matt Stajan -- Garnet Hathaway
Dougie Hamilton -- Mark Giordano
Michael Stone -- Travis Hamonic
Brett Kulak -- Rasmus Andersson
Scratched: Johnny Gaudreau, Matt Bartkowski
Injured: Sean Monahan (wrist, hip), Kris Versteeg (hip), Matthew Tkachuk (upper body), Marek Hrivik (upper body), TJ Brodie (upper body)
Nutivaara signed a four-year contract Thursday. … Each team held an optional morning skate. … Gaudreau will miss his second game after returning home to New Jersey to be with his father, Guy Gaudreau, who had a cardiac event March 25.
Vanek has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. … Atkinson has six points (four goals, two assists) in a five-game point streak, and 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in his past 16 games. … Bobrovsky is 11-3-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and one shutout in his past 14 starts.