Columbus Blue Jackets: Round One Game Four Preview

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 17: Goaltender Braden Holtby
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 17: Goaltender Braden Holtby /

Tonight is hopefully the last game at NWA in the first round for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tonight is a pivotal game for the Columbus Blue Jackets in their first round series against the Washington Capitals. Win, and you take a commanding 3-1 series lead and you crush all hope the Caps have of making a comeback. A loss would tie the series up at two games each and cancel all the ground the Jackets made by winning two games in D.C.

The Columbus Blue Jackets will ice the same team they did on Tuesday. They will still be without their second line center, Alexander Wennberg, meaning Sonny Milano will draw in at wing. The Capitals will still be without Andre Burakovsky who is suffering from an upper body injury.

Related Story: Wennberg Out for Game 4

The matchup will ultimately come down to the netminders. Braden Holtby will have to continue to play out of his mind like he did in game three. He allowed only two goals on 35 shots. The Jackets also outpaced the Caps in high danger scoring chances meaning Holtby stopped a ton of good chances.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

Sergei Bobrovsky has been the definition of a rock and I wouldn’t expect that to change. He is laser focused and is going to keep the Jackets in every game they play in this series.

Overtime Toll

Game three was a game and a half worth of hockey and you have to expect that the extra skating takes more of a toll on the road team. Sleeping in your own bed has its advantages.

I don’t expect we’ll see a sluggish Caps squad, but you might see some tired legs from the visitors late in the third period tonight. Three straight overtime games including a double overtime game will test the physical endurance of even the greatest athletes. Here is where Torts notoriously tough training camps may start to pay a dividend.

Either way its safe to say that tonight should be another closely contested game between two very evenly matched teams. Nationwide will again be absolutely crazy with another 19,000 fans packed to the rafters. 

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Tonight though, those fans will go home with a win in their pocket. Expect the Columbus Blue Jackets to take a decisive 3-1 series lead tonight.