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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 6th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Wild (17-8-5) at Columbus Blue Jackets (11-14-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without their top goaltender for at least the next month, but on Friday the club will try to record consecutive wins for the first time since October when it hosts the Minnesota Wild at Nationwide Arena.

On Wednesday, the Blue Jackets announced that reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to be sidelined 4-to-5 weeks with a groin strain, leaving journeyman Curtis McElhinney as the de facto No. 1 in Bobrovsky's absence.

Bobrovsky sustained the injury while making a save during the third period of Tuesday's 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Blue Jackets officially placed him on injured reserve in order to clear a roster spot and then recalled goalie Mike McKenna from Springfield of the AHL to back up McElhinney.

"I'm sort of always the optimist in these situations," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "As unfortunate as it is to go through injuries and injuries to those guys with more of a bigger role, it's an opportunity for someone else. Curtis has patiently waited for every opportunity he's gotten so far ... he's worked his butt off. He's played really well for us, and now he has a great chance with the unfortunate thing that's happened to Sergei."

The 25-year-old Bobrovsky was named the NHL's top goaltender last season after recording a 21-11-6 record with a 2.00 goals against average, .932 save percentage and four shutouts over 38 games. However, Bobrovsky's numbers have dropped off some this season, having posted a 2.72 GAA and a .909 save percentage while going 10-11-2 in 23 outings.

McElhinney will get the start tonight. He has a 1-1-1 record and a 2.95 GAA in four career outings against the Wild.

Nick Foligno scored with a between-the-legs move to lead the Blue Jackets to Tuesday's 1-0 win against visiting Tampa Bay. Foligno drew his stick and the puck backward between his legs and flipped a forehand past Ben Bishop's right pad 4:30 into the second period.

Bobrovsky stopped all 18 shots he faced before exiting the game. McElhinney added eight stops to combine on the shutout.

Columbus is 6-7-1 as the host this season and will shoot for its third straight home win tonight when it closes out a two-game stay at Nationwide Arena.

The Wild enter Friday having won two straight on the heels of a season-worst four-game losing streak.

Both recent victories came at home, where the Wild have recorded 12 of their 17 wins this season. Minnesota ended the slide with Monday's 2-0 win over Philadelphia and then notched a 4-3 regulation decision against Chicago on Thursday.

The Wild held off the defending Stanley Cup champions and current leaders of the Central Division in Thursday's battle at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota went down 3-2 over six minutes in the third period after coughing up an early 2-0 lead, but Jonas Brodin scored the tying goal for the Wild and Marco Scandella won it late in regulation.

Matt Cooke and Zach Parise also lit the lamp and Jared Spurgeon added two assists for the Wild. Josh Harding stopped 16 shots for the win.

"When you start the game that way and play the game that way, it's easier to battle through (the Chicago comeback)," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said.

The Wild are playing four of five and eight of their next 10 games on the road, where they are just 5-5-3 this season. Minnesota will host San Jose on Sunday before embarking on a three-game road trip that begins Wednesday in Anaheim.

The Blue Jackets have taken three of five and five of the last nine meetings in this series. However, the Wild have claimed three of the past five encounters in Ohio, going 3-1-1 at Nationwide Arena during that stretch.

12/06 10:50:53 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/16 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus 4/16 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/16 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Canes head coach Kirk Muller presser

    Today at 11:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR