Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild: Players to watch, keys to victory and prediction

ST. PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 31: Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella on the bench during the regular season match up between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild on December 31, 2016 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Blue Jackets won 4-2. (Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 31: Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella on the bench during the regular season match up between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild on December 31, 2016 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Blue Jackets won 4-2. (Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 13: Artemi Panarin
COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 13: Artemi Panarin /

Players to Watch

On the Columbus Blue Jackets side of things, be sure to keep an eye on Artemi Panarin tonight. The old saying goes that goal scorers score in bunches and Panarin scored his first goal as a Blue Jacket last night. I’d expect we’ll see at least one goal from him tonight.

Another Blue Jacket to keep a close eye on tonight would be Sonny Milano. The 21-year-old has four goals in four games, however he was kept off the score sheet against the Rangers. There’s a very good chance he’ll end up back on it again tonight.

The Columbus Blue Jackets will start Sergei Bobrovsky for the second day in a row tonight, according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.

For Minnesota, Chris Stewart certainly isn’t a household name, but he’s playing like one. He’s earned five points, four of which have been goals in his first three games of the season. With the amount of injuries the Wild have accrued to this point, he’s getting more ice time and doing whatever he can to make the most of it.

Former Blue Jacket Kyle Quincey will be in the starting lineup for Minnesota tonight as well. Although he only played 20 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets, he was a solid defenseman in the games he did play. He currently has two assists and no goals to start the season.