NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 4th (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (18-19-4) at St. Louis Blues (28-7-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Nathan Horton had a strong debut for the Columbus Blue Jackets in helping the club halt a two-game losing streak their last time out. The highly-paid forward will try to make a difference again on Saturday, as the Blue Jackets visit the streaking St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

Horton lit the lamp in his long-awaited Blue Jackets debut, as Columbus earned a 2-0 victory Thursday night in Phoenix. Columbus signed Horton to a seven- year, $37.1 million contract in July, but the 28-year-old forward underwent shoulder surgery not long after inking the deal, causing him to miss the Blue Jackets' first 40 games this season.

"You can tell that we're a good team when we work hard," said Horton. "I really enjoyed being out there with the guys. It was so much fun."

Horton, a six-time 20-goal scorer, notched 13 games in 43 games for the Boston Bruins last season. He also added 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in 22 playoff games last spring for the Bruins, who made it to the Stanley Cup Finals before bowing out to Chicago.

Columbus went into Thursday night's game scoreless in its last 16 power-play chances and just 1-for-24 on the man advantage over the previous seven games. Horton ended those droughts with his second-period, power-play tally, putting home a gritty rebound from in close.

Curtis McElhinney stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the season in Thursday's win at Jobing.com Arena. R.J. Umberger registered Columbus' other goal, while McElhinney turned aside a whopping 21 shots in the final frame to help the Blue Jackets hang on for their fourth victory in six tries. The win pushed Columbus to 9-10-2 as the guest this season and improved the Jackets' record on a four-game road trip to 1-1-0.

While Horton made his season debut on Thursday, the Blue Jackets could have No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky back in the crease tonight for the first time since Dec. 3. Bobrovsky, the NHL's reigning Vezina Trophy winner, has been out for a month with a strained groin, but he suited up as the backup to McElhinney on Thursday and the Russian netminder could get the start tonight.

Bobrovsky has struggled this season, going 10-11-2 with a 2.72 goals against average in 23 games. He was 21-11-6 with a 2.00 GAA in his award-winning season of 2012-13.

Blue Jackets center Derek MacKenzie, meanwhile, will miss the next three games after receiving a suspension from the league for boarding Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Thursday. MacKenzie, who has two goals and two assists in 33 games this season, will be eligible to return on Jan. 11 in Winnipeg.

Columbus faces a tough test on Saturday, as the Blues enter the tilt having won four straight and six of their last seven games. St. Louis also has dominated the Blue Jackets in recent years, winning four of five, six of eight and 11 of the last 14 meetings. Columbus also has lost two straight and five of its last six games at Scottrade Center.

The Blues are coming off an impressive win on Thursday, as they slammed the visiting Los Angeles Kings by a 5-0 score. T.J. Oshie scored two goals and Brian Elliott made 30 saves to help the Blues send the struggling Kings to their fifth straight loss.

Brenden Morrow had a goal and one assist for the Blues. Elliott recorded his third shutout of the season in the 100th win for Ken Hitchcock as St. Louis' head coach.

"When you're creating scoring chances from your pursuit and checking, it's a good sign because you're willing to work to create scoring chances," said Hitchcock.

It was the third straight win on home ice for the Blues, who boast a superb 16-3-2 mark in the Gateway City this season.

Elliott could get a fourth straight start in net tonight, as Jaroslav Halak is still battling an illness. Captain David Backes is questionable after sitting out the last three games with an upper-body injury.

In other news for St. Louis, defenseman Jordan Leopold was activated off injured reserve on Friday and he could play Saturday for the first time since Nov. 7. Leopold had been sidelined after undergoing surgery to repair a tendon in his right hand.

St. Louis enters Saturday trailing Chicago by five points for first place in the Central Division. The Blues have four games in hand over the Blackhawks and will use one today, as Chicago is idle ahead of its home game Sunday against the San Jose Sharks.

01/04 10:47:06 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Lindholm, Canes win third straight, top Sharks 5-3 25
Muller: No word from management on job status

Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller says he has not been told by management if he will keep his job.

Related Stories

Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/18 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay @theRink | TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit 4/18 7:30 PM ET
Boston @theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, FSN-DET, NESN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/18 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
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

    Tomorrow at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
TOR
7:08pm Tonight
DET
ANA
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PHI
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
DET
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR