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Blue Jackets at Avalanche preview

MacKinnon in lineup for Colorado; Columbus continues road trip

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (6-7-3) at AVALANCHE (9-5-2)

9 p.m. ET, ALT, FS-O, NHL.TV


The Game

Nathan MacKinnon will be in the lineup for the Colorado Avalanche against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

The center did not play in the third period of a 9-4 win against the Nashville Predators on Thursday that ended a five-game winless streak (0-4-1). He had a goal and three assists.

The Blue Jackets ended a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) with a 3-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday to open a three-game road trip. They were outscored 20-9 in the streak.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 18 games against the Avalanche.

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games and leads NHL rookies in scoring with 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 16 games.  


They said it

"We do need more out of our top guys. We still have a number of guys struggling, not from a lack of trying but just try to get them off the schneid and just feeling more instinctive about their game. We just keep working on it every day and trying to get better." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

"It's not easy (having injuries), but teams will go through it. You can't worry too much about it as coaches, you have to move on to the next game. We have lots of guys that want opportunities, and they're getting it now. With opportunity comes responsibility. We have to keep carving out wins. It doesn't matter who's in the lineup, no one's going to feel sorry for us." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Nick Foligno -- Boone Jenner -- Josh Anderson

Sonny Milano -- Alexander Wennberg -- Cam Atkinson

Kole Sherwood -- Alexandre Texier -- Emil Bemstrom

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Dean Kukan

Joonas Korpisalo

Matiss Kivlenieks

Scratched: Adam Clendening, Riley Nash

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Ryan Murray (hand), Markus Nutivaara (head)

Avalanche projected lineup

Matt Calvert -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Joonas Donskoi

Tyson Jost -- Nazem Kadri -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Valeri Nichushkin

Andre Burakovsky -- Vladislav Kamenev -- T.J. Tynan

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar

Ian Cole -- Mark Barberio

Pavel Francouz

Adam Werner

Scratched: Jayson Megna

Injured: Philipp Grubauer (lower body), Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), Mikko Rantanen (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body), Nikita Zadorov (broken jaw)


Status report

Zadorov had surgery Friday and is week to week. He was hit with a puck against Nashville on Thursday. … The Avalanche recalled Megna from Colorado of the American Hockey League. … Murray took part in the morning skate but will miss his sixth straight game.


Stat pack

The Blue Jackets have won three straight games against the Avalanche and are 7-2-1 in the past 10 games against them. … Donskoi, who will play his 300th NHL game, had his first NHL hat trick Thursday.

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