banner

NHL

more stats

Blue Jackets prepare for playoffs in meeting with Panthers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will play their final game before getting set for just their second ever playoff appearance as they visit the Florida Panthers on Saturday evening.

The Blue Jackets have already clinched their first postseason appearance since getting swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round of the 2009 playoffs, but their seeding is still to be decided.

Columbus lost a 3-2 decision on Friday night to the Tampa Bay Lightning to remain tied with the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings in the standings. All three teams have 91 points.

The Blue Jackets have played one more game than the Metropolitan Division- rival Flyers, who can clinch third place on Saturday with a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. That would leave Columbus as a wild card team and with a pending first-round matchup with either the Eastern Conference-champion Boston Bruins or Metro-winning Penguins.

Columbus, which has four more non-shootout wins than Detroit, would clinch at least a playoff meeting with the Penguins with a victory over the Panthers.

The Blue Jackets had won three in a row before suffering last night's setback. Boone Jenner had a goal and assisted on David Savard's tally, while backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney posted 19 saves.

"They are a really good team. It was hard to get pucks on the net, especially from the points," said Savard.

Columbus played without forward Nathan Horton, who had abdominal surgery on Friday that will sideline him for six weeks.

The Blue Jackets have picked up a pair of victories over the Panthers this season to push their series winning streak to seven in a row. They are 4-2-0 all-time on the road versus Florida.

The Panthers will try to close out their regular season with a winning homestand, having gone 2-2-0 on the residency.

Florida handed the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-2 setback on Thursday, with rookie Nick Bjugstad notching his first two-goal game to go along with a career-high three points.

Bjugstad assisted on Brad Boyes' tie-breaking goal with three seconds left in the second period before scoring twice in the third to help the Panthers win for only the second time in their past nine games.

"It was good to get the lead and obviously they bounced back and had one but we didn't let up," said Bjugstad, who now leads Florida with 38 points after snapping a 20-game goal-scoring drought.

Roberto Luongo made 27 saves for the Panthers, who are 16-19-5 at home on the season.

04/12 09:46:56 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Ron Francis named new Carolina Hurricanes GM
Canes questions? Get answers at Fan Town Hall

After a fifth season without a playoff run, the Carolina Hurricanes will start camp with a new head coach and other new faces in the front office. Fan Town Hall is YOUR chance to ask team leaders how they will turn it around.

Related Stories
  • US Open Tennis: Men’s Third Round & Women’s Fourth Round

    Today at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on METV 50.2

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s & Women’s Fourth Round

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on 620am

  • MLB: Cleveland at Kansas City

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Seattle at Oakland

    Tomorrow at 4:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Miami at Louisville

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
 
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR