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Gaborik's return provides boost for Blue Jackets

by Staff

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik is expected to start out on the fourth line in his return to the lineup Thursday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The Blue Jackets and Devils are among four teams in the Metropolitan Division separated by two points, and Gaborik's return after missing the past 22 games with a broken collarbone is a key addition for a Columbus team that starts Thursday three points out of the second wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards liked the way his top three lines were playing prior to the Olympic break, so Gaborik will begin the game playing alongside Mark Letestu and Derek MacKenzie.

Defenseman Fedor Tyutin was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Dalton Prout is likely to take his place on a pairing with Jack Johnson, while Cody Goloubef was recalled from Springfield of the American Hockey League.

Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start in goal for Columbus, while Cory Schneider makes his seventh straight start for New Jersey.

Rookie defensemen Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill will both be in the lineup for the Devils, with veterans Anton Volchenkov and Peter Harrold healthy scratches.

Veteran forward Patrik Elias, who missed practice Wednesday to be with his wife when she gave birth to their daughter, was back for the morning skate Thursday and will be in the lineup.

Here's how the Blue Jackets and Devils are expected to look:


Nick Foligno - Artem Anisimov - RJ Umberger

Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Nathan Horton

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu - Marian Gaborik

Dalton Prout - Jack Johnson

Ryan Murray - James Wisniewski

Nikita Nikitin - David Savard

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Cody Goloubef, Corey Tropp, Blake Comeau

Injured: Fedor Tyutin (ankle), Jared Boll (ankle surgery)


Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner

Ryane Clowe - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill

Cory Schneider

Martin Brodeur

Scratched: Jacob Josefson, Anton Volchenkov, Peter Harrold

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