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Blue Jackets at Wild preview

Minnesota without several key forwards because of injuries; Bobrovsky to start for Columbus

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (3-1-0) at WILD (1-1-1)

8 p.m. ET; FS-OH, FS-N, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The depleted Minnesota Wild host the Columbus Blue Jackets in their home opener on Saturday.

The Wild are without injured forwards Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Marcus Foligno. They recalled forwards Christoph Bertschy, Landon Ferraro, Zack Mitchell and Luke Kunin from Iowa of the American Hockey League. Kunin, selected No. 15 in the 2016 NHL Draft, is expected to make his NHL debut.

Coyle, Niederreiter and Foligno were injured Thursday in a 5-2 win at the Chicago Blackhawks.

Columbus is playing the second game of a back-to-back after a 3-1 home win against the New York Rangers on Friday. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 37 saves against the Rangers, will start.

 

Players to watch

Kunin, 19, has two points (one goal, one assist) in two games with Iowa. He had 38 points (22 goals, 16 assists) in 35 games as a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin last season.

Bobrovsky is 3-0-0 and leads the NHL in save percentage (.981) and goals-against average (0.65). He is tied for first in victories.

 

They said it

"It's still early. There's going to be ebbs and flows in games. I don't look at last night [against the Rangers] and think about [slow starts], I think about how we raised our level in the third period, when we needed it to be and win a game a different way. Of course you want to start right, but it doesn't always happen that way. We're focused on how we won the game." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella on slow starts

"There's a lot of guys out, but right now our schedule is so light, so if you want to be a good news guy, if this happens when we don't have a lot of games and it's going to happen to everybody at some point in the year, this is the time you want it to happen." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on team injuries

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Alexander Wennberg -- Cam Atkinson

Sonny Milano -- Nick Foligno -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Matt Calvert -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Josh Anderson

Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Lukas Sedlak -- Zac Dalpe

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Jack Johnson -- David Savard

Ryan Murray -- Scott Harrington

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Markus Hannikainen, Gabriel Carlsson

Injured: Boone Jenner (middle body)

 

Wild projected lineup

Joel Eriksson Ek -- Eric Staal -- Chris Stewart

Tyler Ennis -- Mikko Koivu -- Jason Zucker

Daniel Winnik -- Matt Cullen -- Luke Kunin

Christoph Bertschy -- Zack MItchell -- Landon Ferraro

Jared Spurgeon -- Ryan Suter

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Kyle Quincey -- Gustav Olofsson

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: None

Injured: Zach Parise (undisclosed), Mikael Granlund (groin), Charlie Coyle (fractured right fibula), Nino Niederreiter (high ankle sprain), Marcus Foligno (facial fracture)

 

Status report

The Blue Jackets did not hold a morning skate. … Granlund skated after the Wild's morning skate. Parise and Foligno are expected to play at the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 20.

 

Stat pack

Panarin scored his first goal of the season Friday. He's tied with Milano for the team lead with four points (one goal, three assists) … Stewart leads the Wild with five points (four goals, one assist) in three games.

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