NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, April 15th
(All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (19-16-7) at Colorado Avalanche (14-22-6), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Sergei Bobrovsky has made a big first impression with the
Columbus Blue Jackets this season.
None would be bigger than leading the young franchise into the playoffs.
The Blue Jackets look to stay in the playoff race with a fourth straight
victory on Monday night as they visit the last-place Colorado Avalanche.
Acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on June 22 for a trio of draft picks,
the 24-year-old Bobrovsky has gone 16-10-6 with four shutouts, a 2.01 goals
against average and .932 save percentage in 32 games this season. He has
played his way into Vezina Trophy talks and has allowed more than two goals
just once in his past seven games.
Bobrovsky made 39 saves and another two stops in the shootout on Saturday to
lift Columbus to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild, earning the bulk of
the credit from head coach Todd Richards.
"This was 'The Bob Show.' It was all by himself," said Blue Jackets head coach
"Getting ready for our next game in Colorado, we're going to have a lot better
than what we had tonight."
Vinny Prospal and Fedor Tyutin had goals less than three minutes apart in the
second period for Columbus, while Mark Letestu and Cameron Atkinson had the
shootout tallies in the club's sixth victory in eight games.
By winning the opener of a six-game road trip, and moving to just 6-11-2 as
the guest this season, the Blue Jackets are tied with Dallas and two points
behind Detroit and Minnesota for West's final playoff spots. The Stars have a
game in hand and visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, while Detroit is
idle. The Wild are playing in Calgary.
The Blue Jackets are aiming to make the playoffs for just the second time
since joining the league as an expansion club in 2000-01. They were swept out
of the first round in the 2009 postseason.
The Avalanche won't be going to the postseason for a third straight year and
had lost six of seven and 14 of their previous 17 prior to Saturday's 4-3 win
over the Vancouver Canucks. Colorado is last in the Western Conference with 34
points, two more than the Florida Panthers, who occupy the basement in the
Still, the Avs showed some heart versus the Canucks and got the winning goal
from Jan Hejda with 7.6 seconds to play when he ripped a one-timer past
Vancouver's Cory Schneider for his first score in 55 games.
"There's not too much time to think about taking a shot. I just took it and
thankfully it was a good one," Hejda said. "I do not think that they played
their best game today, but we played well. We just had to keep it simple, and
kept the puck in their zone."
P.A. Parenteau, Cody McLeod and Gabriel Landeskog also tallied for the
Avalanche. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 24-of-27 shots in the victory,
becoming the 10th active goaltender to reach 250 career wins.
The Blue Jackets have won three of their last four versus the Avalanche, but
did drop their most recent trip to Colorado 4-0 on Jan. 24. Columbus has lost
five of its last seven in Denver.
04/15 10:55:39 ET