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Taking My Time on My Ride: Blackhawks face Blue Jackets one last time

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After seven games this season, Chicago takes on Columbus one last time for the 2021 season

Chicago Blackhawks v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s trade deadline day, and both teams involved in this contest between the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets could see moves made and alters to their rosters. The Blue Jackets have already traded David Savard and captain Nick Foligno since the last time these two teams played. The Blackhawks could make some moves Monday as well, as Mattias Janmark was held out of Saturday’s game.

The Blackhawks, going into this game, are 5-2-0 against the Blue Jackets this season, with another win coming on Saturday as the Blackhawks came from behind and held tight to a third-period lead to win 4-3.

The Blackhawks are now four points behind the Predators for the fourth spot in the Central Division — although Nashville has one game in hand — after Nashville beat the Stars in a shootout on Sunday. A win against the Blue Jackets on Monday would get the Blackhawks closer to the last playoff spot, but the Blackhawks would likely need to take two of the three from Nashville in their final games against the Predators (starting Apr. 19).

In seven games this season, the Blackhawks are last in the division against Columbus in shot percentage (47.69) and expected goal percentage (44.34) at 5-on-5. Considering the fact that every other team in the division is above 50 percent in each stat, that’s not great. The Blue Jackets are far from an impressive possession team at full strength this season.

Luckily, the Blackhawks have made up for subpar 5-on-5 play with the best power-play against the Blue Jackets — five goals in seven games and a division-leading 7.07 expected goals per 60 — although that’s offset by a penalty kill which has given up six goals in seven games to the Blue Jackets. In the seven games so far, the two teams have combined for 43 goals, averaging 6.14 per game. Hey, at least these games have been entertaining.

The Blackhawks are led by Patrick Kane’s 14 points against the Blue Jackets (13 of them primary). Alex DeBrincat has eight points (three goals) and Carl Soderberg is third on the team with six points against Columbus (four goals). The Blue Jackets have 10 points from Cam Atkinson and six points from both Jack Roslovic and Patrik Laine.

Kevin Lankinen has a .900 save percentage in six starts against the Blue Jackets. He made 23 saves on 26 shots against Columbus on Saturday. He has started six straight games for the Blackhawks and Malcolm Subban hasn’t played since March 28. Subban shut out the Blue Jackets on Feb. 25.

There will likely be roster changes to one side or the other before the game Monday night.

Tale of the tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Blue Jackets

46.65% (28th) — Corsi For — 46.45% (29th)

45.71% (30th) — Expected goals for — 46.22 (28th)

2.76 (17th) — Goals per game — 2.49 (27th)

3.10 (22nd) — Goals against per game — 3.21 (25th)

46.7% (27th) — Faceoffs — 46.5% (29th)

24.4% (7th) — Power play — 14.0% (28th)

73.3% (30th) — Penalty kill — 78.1% (19th)

Projected lineups (subject to change)

Blackhawks

DeBrincat — Dach — Kane

Kubalik — Kurashev — Hinostroza

Soderberg — Suter — Strome

Hagel — Kampf — Carpenter

Keith — Boqvist

Zadorov — Murphy

de Haan — Kalynuk

Lankinen

Subban

Blue Jackets

Laine — Texier — Bjorkstrand

Robinson — Domi — Atkinson

Grigorenko — Roslovic — Foudy

Matteau — Dalpe — Stenlund

Gavrikov — Jones

Carlsson — Del Zotto

Lehtonen — Kukan

Merzlikins

Korpisalo

How to watch

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV