Preview: Wild at Blue Jackets 15 Nov 11

Minnesota Wild Forward Devin Setoguchi

The Columbus Blue Jackets recently became the last team in the NHL to win their third game. It could be a while before another team challenges their 12 losses. The NHL-worst Blue Jackets are struggling offensively but really have trouble on the other end, allowing a league-high 3.7 goals. Columbus surrendered 19 goals during their recent three-game losing streak but finally got a strong performance in a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. The Blue Jackets will be looking for their first winning streak of the season when they host the road-weary Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. The Wild are even through four games of the five-game trip after taking out Anaheimon Sunday. Niklas Backstrom snapped out of a slump with a 32-save effort to move above .500 on the season (5-4-0).

 

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Ohio (Columbus)

ABOUT THE WILD (9-5-3): After beating Calgary, Minnesota worked its way down the west coast over the last week and lost at San Jose and Los Angeles before righting the ship with a 3-2 triumph over the Ducks. Sunday’s win marked only the fifth time this season the Wild had scored more than two goals in a contest. They usually get by on the defense, which is averaging just over two goals allowed.

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (3-12-1): With few of its veterans performing up to standard, Columbus turned to rookie Ryan Johansen for its scoring punch Saturday. The 19-year-old turned in his first multi-goal performance in the win. Steve Mason, who is last in the NHL with a .875 save percentage, stopped 35 shots after allowing 13 goals in his two previous starts. The Blue Jackets activated goalie Curtis Sanford off injured reserve Sunday.

OVERTIME:
1. Minnesota took the first meeting 4-2 in St. Paul on Oct. 8. Mason was pulled after allowing all four goals in two periods.
2. Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist for the Wild on Sunday to snap a four-game pointless streak.
3. Backstrom is 8-3-1 with a 2.25 goals against average in his career against the Blue Jackets.

PREDICTION: Wild 2, Blue Jackets 1. The Blue Jackets don’t have the offense to get much done against the Wild.