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game preview

Blue Jackets at Golden Knights preview

Columbus looks to stay hot on road; Vegas goes for first win in three games

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (21-16-8) at GOLDEN KNIGHTS (24-17-6)

10 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, FS-O, NHL.TV


The Game

The Columbus Blue Jackets seek a point on the road for the 10th time in 11 games when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

Elvis Merzlikins will start for the Blue Jackets, who are 6-1-3 in their past 10 road games.

The Golden Knights will look to win for the first time in three games when they conclude a seven-game homestand. Vegas, which was defeated by the Los Angles Kings 5-3 on Thursday, is 4-2-0 on the homestand.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has seven goals in his past six games.

Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in the past 15 games.


They said it

"I don't think our game has been consistent the past few games. I think the past three, four games, I think it's been inconsistent." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

"I think the last couple of games haven't been our best starts. We want to learn from those mistakes and forget about it but know what we have to do to be better." -- Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Nathan Gerbe

Sonny Milano -- Boone Jenner -- Nick Foligno

Emil Bemstrom -- Alexander Wennberg -- Kevin Stenlund

Jakob Lilja -- Riley Nash -- Eric Robinson

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Markus Nutivaara

Elvis Merzlikins

Matiss Kivlenieks

Scratched: Ryan MacInnis, Gabriel Carlsson

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Cam Atkinson (ankle), Josh Anderson (shoulder), Oliver Bjorkstrand (rib, oblique), Ryan Murray (lower body), Joonas Korpisalo (knee), Andrew Peeke (finger), Alexandre Texier (back), Dean Kukan (knee)


Golden Knights projected lineup

Chandler Stephenson -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Mark Stone

William Carrier -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch

Keegan Kolesar -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Nick Holden -- Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill -- Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: Nicolas Hague

Injured: Cody Glass (lower body), Jonathan Marchessault (lower body)


Status report

Atkinson, a forward is close to returning but will not play. … Kolesar, a third-round pick by Columbus (No. 69) in the 2015 NHL Draft, will make his NHL debut on the fourth line. Vegas recalled Kolesar from Chicago of the American Hockey League on Friday and reassigned forward Nicolas Roy. … Marchessault is a game-time decision but the forward likely will miss his fifth consecutive game.


Stat pack

Fleury is one win from tying Henrik Lundqvist (458) of the New York Rangers for fifth place on the NHL all-time win list. Lundqvist will start against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. … Dubois has five assists in his past three games. … Stone has 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in his past 15 games. … Stastny has five points (two goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak.

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