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Sharks vs. Blue Jackets preview: Officer Bobrovsky is back on the force

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Columbus' starting goaltender returns to their lineup to face San Jose.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

No team in the league has suffered more key injuries this season than the Blue Jackets, the Sharks' opponent tonight in Columbus. Predicted by many to build on their second postseason appearance in franchise history, during which they gave the division-winning Pittsburgh Penguins a legitimate scare, the losses of Nathan Horton (whose career might tragically be over), Brandon Dubinsky, James Wisniewski, Ryan Murray, Boone Jenner, Artem Anisimov and now Fedor Tyutin for parts of the early season have derailed those plans. But their most significant injury was the fractured finger starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky sustained in practice more than two weeks ago. Columbus hadn't won a game without the former Vezina Trophy winner in net until last night in Philadelphia. Activated from IR yesterday, Bobrovsky makes his return to the Jackets' crease tonight against a Sharks team he helped defeat in October.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks

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Columbus Blue Jackets
9-7-2, 20 points
Record 5-10-1, 11 points
5th in Pacific Rank 8th in Metropolitan
50.4%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 48.6%
99.5
PDO 97.0
24.1
PP% 24.2
83.6
PK% 75.0

4PM PST | Nationwide Arena | Columbus, Ohio
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: The Cannon

Projected Sharks Lineup

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Matt Nieto
Barclay Goodrow - James Sheppard - Tommy Wingels
Tye McGinn - Andrew Desjardins - Tyler Kennedy

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller - Brent Burns
Scott Hannan - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Troy Grosenick

Projected Blue Jackets Lineup

Brian Gibbons - Ryan Johansen - Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell - Boone Jenner - Cam Atkinson
Alexander Wennberg - Artem Anisimov - Adam Cracknell
Corey Tropp - Michael Chaput - Jared Boll

Tim Erixon - James Wisniewski
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Jordan Leopold - Dalton Prout

Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Last Meeting

In the Sharks' first game back home after their initial five-game Eastern road trip they held leads of 2-0 and 4-3 against the Blue Jackets but ended up losing on a last-minute deflection goal by Mark Letestu. Ryan Johansen had a two-goal night, as did Letestu who also scored a shorthanded goal.

Storylines

  • Along with Bobrovsky, center Artem Anisimov also makes his return to the Blue Jackets lineup tonight after missing seven games with a concussion.
  • The injury-plagued Jackets also made a trade with St. Louis this morning, acquiring veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold in exchange for a fifth-round pick to add some experience to their blueline.
  • By all indications, the Sharks are sticking with the same lines and defense pairings that earned them a 2-1 win in Tampa. Unsurprisingly, with Stalock still hurt, Niemi will get the start in net.