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Game 43 Preview: Blue Jackets at Avalanche


The Avalanche are on a roll lately, playing some good hockey even if they're not getting all the wins. Jan Hejda's last second thriller on Saturday reminded us all that this team does have talent.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are fighting for a playoff spot, but they have some tough opponents ahead of them in the standings. They will be a desperate team tonight. The Avs, however, are officially out of the playoff race (though they've been there theoretically for quite a while). The boys have said more than once that they aren't playing to be spoilers. They're playing for pride, something they seemed to have forgotten but now found again.

From, here are some tidbits for tonight's game:

Team scope:

Blue Jackets: Thanks to three straight wins – all against playoff-eligible teams – Columbus is on the cusp of its first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance since 2008-09. But first, the Jackets must address the road struggles that have plagued them all season. Despite winning three of its last four away from home, Columbus is just 6-11-2 on the road this season as they continue the current six-game trip.

"We were relying on [Bobrovsky] way too much … he had to be way too good," coach Todd Richards said. "We should be happy to get two points, but I want to see us do things right over and over."

Colorado: Veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Gigeure, who recorded his 250th career win, talked after the game about the importance of ending the season on a positive note.

"I'm happy with the way the guys have responded," Giguere said. "I think we had a lot more media pressure on us, and pressure isn't a bad thing. We need a way to push ourselves and sometimes it comes in different ways. We need to build a winning attitude, that we're not going to give anything for free, and we don't need to wait for next year to do that. We can start right now, and the last three games are a good example of that. It's been a frustrating year. It's not the year that we were expecting and we only have ourselves to blame for that."

Injury report: Blue Jackets defenseman Tim Erixon is questionable for Monday with an upper-body injury, while Anisimov is out indefinitely with a head injury. … Milan Hejduk (shoulder), Erik Johnson (hand), Semyon Varlamov (hip) and Chuck Kobasew (back) are all questionable for Colorado, while Ryan Wilson is on the injured reserve with an ankle injury.

Game Time: 7 pm MT, FS-Ohio, Altitude 2