Blue Jackets playing NHL Playoff-bound Colorado Avalanche tonight at 7 PM

By Joe Coopersmith

Cale Makar after hitting Jared McCann during Game 4 of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs. By Jenn G – https photos jennthulhu_photog, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

Avalanche to Watch

«  C Nathan MacKinnon leads the NHL in points and ranks third in assists and fourth in goals with 47-80-127 in 74 contests this season and has notched 5-16-21 in 18 career games against the Blue Jackets.

«  D Cale Makar is tied for the NHL lead among blueliners in goals and points and ranks second in assists with 19-62-81 in 69 games in 2023-24 and has tallied 4-6-10 in 5 career games against Columbus.

«  RW Mikko Rantanen, who ranks sixth in the NHL in points, seventh in assists, and 12th in goals with 39-61-100 in 74 appearances this season, has tallied 6-8-14 in 11 career games vs. Columbus, including 5-3-8 in his past three games against the club.


All-Time Series

«  Columbus has gone 22-38-6 in 66 all-time meetings vs. Colorado, including 11-17-4 at home.

«  The teams have rotated two-game season series sweeps dating back to the 2018-19 season with Columbus winning both games in 2018-19 and 2021-22 and Colorado winning the 2019-20 and 2022-23 series.

«  CBJ have recorded points in nine of the last 13 home games of the series (6-4-3) and are 4-1-1 in the last six contests at Nationwide Arena.

«  The Jackets have scored a power play goal in four of the last five home contests of the series (4-of-21; 19.0 pct.).

«  The winning team has recorded four or more goals in five-straight meetings as well as nine of the last 10 meetings since Mar. 8, 2018 with seven of them scoring five-plus goals in a victory.

«  The Blue Jackets have killed off 22-of-26 Avalanche power play chances over the last eight games in the series (84.6 pct.).

«  Columbus owns three shutouts in the all-time series with the club’s most recent instance a 2-0 victory on Mar. 1, 2012 (Mason-33 saves).

«  The Blue Jackets have notched one hat trick in the all-time series with the lone hat trick for Columbus recorded by Rick Nash in a 6-1 win at Colorado on Jan. 2, 2009.

This Season (CBJ, 0-1-0)

«  Mar. 22, 2024 – at COL 6, CBJ 1

«  Apr. 1, 2024 – at COLUMBUS (7 p.m. ET)

Player Notables vs. Avalanche

«  LW Johnny Gaudreau – 8-11-19 in 24 career GP, including 3-8-11 in his last 12 contests after recording an assist in the Mar. 22 meeting.

«  C Boone Jenner – 7-7-14 in 17 career GP, including points in each of his past six appearances vs. the Avalanche (2-4-6) and nine of his last 12 (4-7-11) as well as his past three home contests against the club (1-2-3).

«  D Zach Werenski – 2-5-7 in 13 career GP, recording assists in his two of his last three games against the Avalanche (0-2-2).



  • The Blue Jackets improved to 5-8-2 in their last 15 games and 8-12-2 in the past 22 since Feb. 17 while snapping a six-game losing streak (0-5-1) with a 4-3 shootout win over the Penguins on Saturday.
  • Columbus, which opened a four-game homestand on Saturday, plays four of its final eight games of the season at home.
  • The Blue Jackets have scored the first goal in six-straight games and eight of the last nine outings of the season.  CBJ have scored first 41 times in 2023-24, tied for the seventh-most in the NHL.
  • Columbus scored at least one first period goal in five of the last six games (6 total) and ranks ninth-T in the league with 71 first period goals this season.
  • Columbus, which finished with 38 shots on goal in Saturday’s victory, has recorded 757 shots on goal over the last 24 contests and ranks 12th in the NHL in shots-on-goal per game since returning from the NHL break on Feb. 10 (31.5).
  • CBJ have seen 18 of their games decided after regulation this season, tied for the eighth-most in the league.
  • The Blue Jackets rank 13th in the NHL with 155 goals scored at 5-on-5 play this season.
  • CBJ rank sixth in the league in total blocked shots (1,279) and seventh in blocks-per-60 minutes (17.06) in 2023-24.
  • Blue Jackets blueliners collected 1-2-3 in Saturday’s win and have combined for 5-9-14 over the past six games as well as 18-56-74 in the last 36 contests since Jan. 1.  They rank 11th among NHL defensive units in assists and 12th in points with 31-132-163 in 74 games this season.  The club also leads the league in assists percentage (38.4 pct.) and points percentage (29.4 pct.) recorded by its defense.
  • CBJ’s rookie class has combined for 30-37-67 in 74 games this season to lead the league among teams’ rookies in goals (tied, Chicago) and rank fourth in points and seventh in assists.  The Blue Jackets are one of two teams in the league (Minnesota) to have two rookies with 26 or more points in 2023-24 (Dmitri Voronkov-31, Adam Fantilli-27).


  • RW Yegor Chinakhov, who has missed the last nine games with an upper body injury, has collected 5-5-10 in his last 18 contests played.  He has also registered 6-6-12 with three multi-point efforts in his last 21 games and has totaled 13-11-24 over his last 36 contests.
  • Adam Fantilli, who suffered a calf laceration on Jan. 28 and is expected to miss eight weeks, ranks seventh-T among NHL rookies in goals, 11th-T in assists and 12th in points with 12-15-27 in 49 outings despite missing the last 25 games due to the injury.
  • LW Johnny Gaudreau collected the lone assist on the 3-3 game-tying goal on Saturday and has picked up assists in six of the past nine outings (1-9-10), has registered points in 17 of his last 27 games (4-22-26) and has recorded the primary assist on 16 of his last 19 assists overall dating back to Feb. 10.  He leads the club in assists, points, multi-assists and multi-point outings with 11-44-55, 12 multi-assist and 14 multi-point efforts in 74 contests and has collected 40 or more assists for the ninth time in his career.  He has also recorded 10-39-49 with 13 multi-point outings in his last 57 contests after collecting 1-5-6 in the first 17 games of the season.  In his second season with the club, he is already tied with Artemi Panarin for seventh-T all-time in multi-assist outings (26).
  • Erik Gudbranson has set single-season career highs in assists, points, and blocked shots with 5-15-20 and 155 blocked shots in 70 appearances and sits one goal shy of tying his single-season career high set with Calgary in 2021-22.
  • Boone Jenner, who missed Saturday’s game, has recorded 3-3-6 in his last eight games and has posted 9-8-17 in the last 23 contests dating back to Feb. 10.  The franchise’s all-time leader in games played skated in his 700th career game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28.  He also ranks third on the franchise’s all-time lists in goals and points with 192-172-363 in 715 contests.  The CBJ captain, who skated in his first NHL All-Star Game in his 11th NHL season on Feb. 3, leads the club in goals with 22-13-35 in 58 outings and became the fourth player to record four 20-goal seasons on Mar. 14 vs. Ottawa, including in each of his past three campaigns.
  • RW Kirill Marchenko has recorded 2-1-3 in his last six games.  He ranks second on the team in goals with 19-16-35 in 70 appearances this season and has already set single-season career highs in assists and points after posting 21-4-25 in 59 games during his 2022-23 rookie campaign.
  • LW Alex Nylander, who has recorded 8-3-11 in his first 16 games with the Blue Jackets, became the first player in franchise history and the first player in the NHL since Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson (10 G in 11 GP in 2018-19) to record at least eight goals in his first 11 games with a team.
  • RW Mathieu Olivier tied his career best with a goal in a second-straight game (Mar. 23-25, 2021) after notching his first career shorthanded goal on Saturday.  He has tied his single-season career high in goals (2022-23) with 5-5-10 in 46 appearances this season.
  • Ivan Provorov set a new single-season career high in assists on Thursday with his 25th of the campaign (24 in 2016-17 and 2018-19 with Philadelphia).  He ranks second on the club in blocked shots and time on ice and third in assists with 5-25-30 and 137 blocked shots, while averaging 22:07 TOI in 74 appearances this season.
  • Damon Severson has registered assists in two-straight games and has picked up points in five of the last eight games (1-4-5).  He is tied for the team lead among defensemen in goals this season with 7-17-24 in 59 contests.
  • Cole Sillinger has posted assists in two consecutive outings, including picking up his fourth multi-point effort of the campaign on Thursday vs. Pittsburgh with 1-1-2.  He has posted 12-16-28 in 69 games this season, setting a new single-season career high in assists (15, 2021-22).
  • Daniil Tarasov stopped 33-of-36 shots at Pittsburgh on Thursday (.917 SV%) and has compiled a 2.48 GAA and .932 SV% (232-of-249) in seven games (six starts) since Mar. 7.  He has finished with a .900 or better save percentage in 10 of his last appearances dating back to Feb. 21 and ranks second in the NHL in SV% (.930), sixth in saves (tied, 359-of-386) and GAA (2.53) over that span (min. 10 GP).
  • Alexandre Texier has picked up 3-5-8 in the last 15 games.  He has posted 11-15-26 in 70 games to set single-season career highs in goals (tied, 2021-22), assists, points and games played.
  • Dmitri Voronkov leads NHL rookies in power play goals and shots on goal and ranks third in goals since Jan. 15 with 10-1-11, four PPG and 79 shots on goal in 31 contests.  He ranks fourth-T among NHL rookies in goals and eighth-T in points with 17-14-31 in 68 appearances.  He’s also tied with Rick Nash (17, 2002-03) for the third-most goals by a rookie in franchise history, trailing only Kirill Marchenko (21, 2022-23) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (20, 2017-18).
  • Zach Werenski has recorded multiple points in two of his last three games (2-2-4) after recording his 10th multi-point effort of the campaign with 1-1-2 on Saturday.  He has recorded points in six of the past nine games (3-7-10) and 10 of the last 16 contests (3-12-15).  He has also registered 6-17-23 in the last 28 contests and ranks third-T among NHL blueliners in goals since Feb. 17 (6-12-18 in 22 GP).  He ranks 11th among NHL blueliners in assists-per-game (.66) as well as leads the team in TOI and ranks second in assists and points with 7-41-48 and 24:27 TOI in 62 contests this season.  His 41 helpers are tied with Seth Jones (2017-18) for the second-most by a defenseman in a single season in franchise history, trailing only James Wisniewski (44, 2023-14) while his 48 points are tied for the most in his career (2021-22) and trail only Jones (57, 2017-18) and Wisniewski (51, 2013-14).  The 26-year-old has reached the 40-point plateau for the fifth time in his career and 30-assist mark for the fourth time.



  • Jake Bean is five games from 200 for his NHL career (13-42-55, 195 GP).
  • LW Johnny Gaudreau is four assists from 500 for his NHL career (242-496-738, 756 GP).
  • Boone Jenner is eight goals from 200 for his NHL career (192-172-364, 715 GP).
  • Alexandre Texier is seven games from 200 for his NHL career (33-42-75, 193 GP).
  • Zach Werenski is seven points from 300 for his NHL career (86-207-293, 478 GP).


  • Patrik Laine (clavicle fracture-Dec. 14; NHL Player Assistance Program-Jan. 28); 17 games (for injury)
  • Adam Fantilli (calf laceration on Jan. 28); expected to miss 8 weeks (25 games)
  • Kent Johnson (shoulder injury on Feb. 28); out rest of season (16 games)
  • LW Justin Danforth (concussion on Mar. 7); out indefinitely (11 games)
  • RW Yegor Chinakhov (upper body injury on Mar. 12); is day-to-day (9 games)
  • Sean Kuraly (lower body injury on Mar. 12); is week-to-week (9 games)
  • Adam Boqvist (upper body injury on Mar. 14); out indefinitely (8 games)
  • Boone Jenner (illness on Mar. 30); is day-to-day (1 game)