The Columbus Blue Jackets open their 2017 part of the schedule when they welcome the Edmonton Oilers to Nationwide Arena Tuesday night. The Blue Jackets are looking to inch closer to NHL history by recording a 16th consecutive win. The Oilers hope to not only break the streak, but they hope to avenge an earlier loss to Columbus. The Blue Jackets defeated the Oilers 3-1 on Dec. 13. That gave Columbus their seventh-straight win at the time.
Last time out, the Blue Jackets handed the Wild their first loss in 12 games. Columbus jumped ahead 3-0 and skated off with a 4-2 victory to extend its winning streak to 15 games. Cam Atkinson scored twice, while Jack Johnson and Seth Jones added goals to help the Blue Jackets earn a tie for the second-longest winning streak in NHL history.
The Blue Jackets will not hold a morning skate, as has been their custom the day after a practice. Coach John Tortorella will address the media at around 4:30 P.M. Don’t expect any lineup changes. Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net. As long as the streak is intact, expect Bobrovsky to play.
The Oilers last played on Saturday night where they lost 3-2 to the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout. Drake Caggiula and Connor McDavid scored in regulation, with McDavid tying the game with just 1:33 left in the third. Bo Horvat scored the only goal in the shootout to lift Vancouver to victory.
The Oilers start a four-game road trip Tuesday in Columbus. On Sunday, they called Anton Lander up from Bakersfield while sending both Jordan Oesterle and Taylor Beck back to the Condors. In terms of their lineup, we’ll see if Andrej Sekera is ready to return after battling an illness. Outside of that, don’t expect many changes. Cam Talbot should start in net.
Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Nationwide Arena – 7:00 p.m. EST
TV Broadcast Channels: Fox Sports Ohio/Fox Sports Go and Sportsnet West
Radio Broadcast Channels: 97.1 The Fan and 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers: 19-12-7, 45 points
Road Record: 10-5-5
Hot Players: Cam Talbot, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid
Key Injuries: Tyler Pitlick (lower-body, out for season), Andrej Sekera (illness, day-to-day), Darnell Nurse (lower-body, week-to-week), Iiro Pakarinen (lower-body, week-to-week)
Patrick Maroon-Connor McDavid-Jordan Eberle
Milan Lucic-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Leon Draisaitl
Benoit Pouliot-Drake Caggilua-Jesse Puljujarvi
Matt Hendricks-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian
Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson
Matthew Benning-Kris Russell
Brandon Davidson-Eric Gryba
Cam Talbot (Projected Starter)
Columbus Blue Jackets: 26-5-4, 56 points
Home Record: 14-3-1
Hot Players: Sergei Bobrovsky, Nick Foligno, Brandon Saad, Cam Atkinson
Key Injuries: David Clarkson (back, on LTIR)
Brandon Saad-Alexander Wennberg-Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner-Brandon Dubinsky-Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert-William Karlsson-Josh Anderson
Scott Hartnell-Lukas Sedlak-Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski-Seth Jones
Jack Johnson-David Savard
Markus Nutivaara-Ryan Murray
1) The Blue Jackets enter Tuesday as the league’s hottest team, having won 15 straight games. They have also earned at least a point in a franchise-record 17 straight games, going 16-0-1. They have gone 41 days since their last regulation loss, a 2-0 loss to Calgary on Nov. 23.
2) The Blue Jackets have enjoyed success against the Oilers at Nationwide Arena. Columbus has won four straight and is 5-1 against the Oilers in its last six games at home. Overall, the Blue Jackets are 14-3-1 at Nationwide Arena, while collecting seven straight wins there.
3) The Blue Jackets’ top-line wingers of Saad and Foligno are each riding point streaks into this game. Saad has seven points in his last five games and has 20 points in his last 20 games (10 goals and 10 assists). Foligno has nine points in his last five games (two goals and seven assists).
4) The Oilers come in as one of only five teams (Detroit, Calgary, Boston and Colorado) that has more wins on the road than at home. Edmonton is 10-5-5 away from Rogers Place. The Oilers have scored a total of 23 goals in their last seven trips to Nationwide Arena.
Columbus must weather the early storm the Oilers will bring. Teams will throw their best effort at the Blue Jackets, hoping to be the one to break the streak. The Blue Jackets must contain the neutral zone like they did in their first meeting with the Oilers. Look for the Blue Jackets to take away the Oilers’ speed while contesting every play.
Edmonton has to stay out of the penalty box. Columbus boasts the number-one power play in the league. If the Oilers are to break this historic streak, they must convert on their power play. Columbus is the highest-scoring team in terms of goals per game in the league. If the Oilers waste their chances, Columbus will reach 16 straight wins, with a chance at history Thursday in Washington.