The Columbus Blue Jacket have been known to take care of business on a few occasions during their run of four straight playoff appearances, and the veteran winger will be expected to do so again.
After coming out of the gates with a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday, Columbus is now 10-0-0 on its recent home stand, and has won four straight games to start the season.
The Blue Jackets (14-7-2) are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs on Saturday, and they will look to keep the momentum going against a Nashville team that has allowed just three goals in its past four games.
The Preds (11-8-3) lost to the Florida Rangers on Thursday with a pair of power-play goals from Tyler Kennedy.
The Predos have now allowed three goals or fewer in six of their past seven games.
Columbus is averaging 3.25 goals per game, while Nashville has averaged 2.83.
The Jackets are shooting .621 (17-for-28) and Nashville is shooting .851 (18-for, 42).
The Predators are averaging a goal-per-game average of 2.35, while Columbus is averaging 2.11.
“You’ve got to be prepared for everything, because we know how we’re playing,” Blue Jackets forward Jyrki Jokipakka said.
“We know how hard we play.
I know how fast we’re going, and we know the pressure we’re under.
We know how important it is to play hard.””
It’s a different team,” defenseman Ivan Provorov said.
“[The Predators] don’t play like a lot of teams.
We play hard, but it’s not like a team that’s really good.
We just have to find a way to play our game and get the job done.”
Columbia is 0-4-1 on the road this season and has scored just three times on the way to its third straight road loss.
Its five-game road skid includes a 2-1 overtime loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
Columbus has allowed an average of 1.38 goals per contest while allowing an average or better of 2 in its last six road contests.