The Columbus Blue Jackets attempt to extend their point streak to six games when they host the sliding Arizona Coyotes on Monday in the back end of their home-and-home series. Columbus improved to 4-0-1 with Saturday’s 3-2 shootout triumph in Arizona, which also was its third consecutive victory.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, December 5, 2016
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
|53||ARIZONA||0 (-110)||5.5 (-110)||195
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, FSN Ohio (Columbus)
PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 4, Coyotes 1
The Blue Jackets have lost in regulation just once in their last 11 contests and own the second-best goal differential in the league at plus-21 as they’ve vaulted into third place in the Metropolitan Division — trailing Pittsburgh for second by only one point. Saturday’s setback was the third in a row (0-1-2) for the Coyotes, who carry a five-game road point streak (2-0-3) into Monday’s rematch. Arizona wouldn’t have notched the point on Saturday without a stellar effort by Mike Smith, who etched his name in the franchise record book by making a career-high 58 saves. “He was phenomenal,” Columbus counterpart Curtis McElhinney told reporters. “Unbelievable, especially in the overtime to keep his team alive was something else. We were trading saves in the overtime. He was making them, so I had to hold up my end too.”
ABOUT THE COYOTES (8-11-4): Brendan Perlini could make his NHL debut in Columbus after being recalled from Tucson of the American Hockey League on Sunday. A native of Great Britain who was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 draft, the 20-year-old left wing has registered 11 goals and five assists in 16 games with the Roadrunners this season. Arizona also demoted a pair of 21-year-old players, assigning center Laurent Dauphin (one goal, one assist in 18 games) and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (two, five in 11) to Tucson.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (14-5-4): Matt Calvert returned to the lineup Saturday, as he was activated from injured reserve after missing five contests with an upper-body injury. The 26-year-old left wing’s offensive struggles continued, however, as he was kept off the scoresheet for the 15th time in 18 games this season. Alexander Wennberg scored a goal and captain Nick Foligno notched an assist in Saturday’s victory to forge a three-way tie with Cam Atkinson for the team lead of 21 points.
1. Coyotes captain Shane Doan’s next goal will be the 400th of his career, making him the 93rd player in NHL history to reach the plateau.
2. Columbus, which has the fewest regulation losses (five) in the league, set a franchise record Saturday by registering 60 shots on goal.
3. Arizona RW Radim Vrbata, who leads the team in goals (eight) and points (17), is riding a five-game scoring streak during which he has collected two tallies and three assists.