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Thinking of Peverley, Blue Jackets prep for Red Wings

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS -- Knowing Dallas Stars center Rich Peverley is recovering after collapsing on the bench during their game Monday will help the Columbus Blue Jackets move on and prepare better for an important Eastern Conference game Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena.

"The show goes on, but the good thing is that Rich Peverley is doing OK," Columbus left wing Nick Foligno said.

The game in Dallas was halted with 13:37 to play in the first period when Peverley collapsed on the bench after his shift. He was carried to the hallway leading to the Dallas locker room where aid, including chest compressions and a defibrillator, were used. He then was transported to a hospital, where the Stars said he is in stable condition.

Columbus was leading 1-0 at the time on a Nathan Horton goal. The game was postponed and a decision about the remainder of the game is to be determined by the NHL.

Peverley had an offseason procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat and missed all of training camp and the first game of the season, Oct. 3 against the Florida Panthers. He also missed the Stars' game in Columbus on March 4 because he said he didn't feel well enough to fly and coach Lindy Ruff later said it was related to Peverley's heart condition.

Peverley returned to play the next two games.

"We were there," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "It's something different if you're distanced from it. Not that it doesn't affect you, because I think it affected everyone, but we were right in the middle of it."

Richards coached Peverley for two seasons in the American Hockey League. Horton and Peverley were teammates with the Boston Bruins.

"I was sick to my stomach wondering if he's OK," Horton said.

Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky said he and his teammates are coming to grips with what they witnessed in Dallas.

"Obviously being part of a traumatic incident like that is never easy, but hopefully the fact he is doing well will allow us to get ready for an important game," he said.

The situation on the bench brought back memories of when Detroit defenseman Jiri Fischer went into cardiac arrest during a game against the Nashville Predators on Nov. 21, 2005. Fischer, now the Red Wings director of player development, subsequently retired due to heart problems.

"It affects everybody," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I know how rattled our guys were. It's way different than hockey and obviously way more important than hockey."

But there is a key game at hand.

"Playing Detroit in such a big game, it might be easier for us to refocus," Richards said.

The Blue Jackets and Red Wings each have 71 points, but Columbus holds the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference by virtue of four more regulation/overtime wins.

"The bottom line is we both have a big game [Tuesday]," Babcock said. "We both basically need to win two of every three to get in. It's a big game, but isn't that why you play?"

Richards said goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will go against the Red Wings after backup Curtis McElhinney got the start in Dallas. There are no other lineup changes.

For Detroit, center Cory Emmerton was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League to replace center Joakim Andersson, who broke his foot Sunday against the New York Rangers.

Here are the projected lineups:


Gustav Nyquist - David Legwand - Johan Franzen

Tomas Tatar - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Jurco

Justin Abdelkader - Luke Glendening - Daniel Alfredsson

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Todd Bertuzzi

Jonathan Ericsson - Niklas Kronwall

Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser

Brendan Smith - Brian Lashoff

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Jakub Kindl

Injured: Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Daniel Cleary (knee), Darren Helm (head), Stephen Weiss (hernia), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Joakim Andersson (foot), Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder)


Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - Boone Jenner

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Nathan Horton

RJ Umberger - Artem Anisimov - Corey Tropp

Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu - Blake Comeau

Jack Johnson - David Savard

Nikita Nikitin - James Wisniewski

Nick Schultz - Dalton Prout

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Cam Atkinson, Matt Frattin, Cody Goloubef, Frédéric St-Denis

Injured: Jared Boll (ankle), Ryan Murray (knee), Fedor Tyutin (ankle)

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