New Jersey Devils Game 36 Preview: at Columbus Blue Jackets

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 06: New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) during the National Hockey League game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 6, 2022 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets meet for the second time in three days.

Tale of the Tape:

Record: 14-16-5 (33 points, 5th in Metro)

The Opponent: Columbus Blue Jackets (15-16-1) – FHN Blog: The Cannon Blast

Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: Nationwide Arena

Expected Goaltenders: Mackenzie Blackwood (9-7-3) vs. Joonas Korpisalo (3-6-0)

Television Broadcasts: MSG+, BSOH

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets dropped their third straight game Thursday night in a 3-1 loss against New Jersey. There was never really a time where Columbus was in complete control of the game. There were spurts where the offense would get a couple shots on net in a short period of time but sustained pressure was a problem for them.

Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo stopped 25 of 27 shots in the loss and will get the start tonight. Thursday’s game was a good showing for the 27-year old as this was the first time since October 31 that he recorded a save percentage above 90 percent in a start.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils played a very complete game on Thursday as Jack Hughes had another star performance. The 20-year-old recorded a goal and two assists to keep his hot streak going. Hughes has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the five games since the extended holiday break and is turning into a superstar that can completely control the pace of the game.

Mackenzie Blackwood had a huge bounce back performance after a stretch of games where he has not been particularly good. The 25-year-old stopped 31 of 32 Columbus shots including a flurry of saves at the end of the first period to keep the game tied.

With the injury to Jonathan Bernier, Blackwood’s workload is getting heavier and he is expected to make his sixth consecutive start tonight in Columbus.

Player to Watch: Jack Hughes

How can Hughes not be the player to watch in every game? The former first-overall pick is starting to turn into the player that everyone expected him to be when he was drafted in 2019.

Expect Hughes to have another big night as the team’s offense runs through him on a nightly basis. Currently averaging over a point per game, he has shown that he can handle the pressure of being a team’s top option and his confidence only grows with his increasing ice time.

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