Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Columbus at Minnesota
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 19, 2019
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Minnesota Wild seemed poised to make a move up the standings after opening January by winning four of five and staring at a schedule dotted with a slew of struggling opponents. Instead, Minnesota has played down to the level of competition, absorbing three three-goal defeats in the last four games entering Saturday's home matchup versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The uninspired stretch by the Wild featured drubbings by Detroit and Philadelphia before Anaheim ended a 12-game winless drought with a 3-0 victory in Minnesota on Thursday night. "Over the last three or four games, we're playing teams that are bottom in the league and a team coming in on a 12-game losing streak," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "We get one shootout win out of it. It's just not good enough." The Blue Jackets had their four-game winning streak snapped with Friday's 4-1 home loss to Montreal, although a pair of empty-net goals made the final outcome deceptive. Columbus extended its point streak over the Wild to five games (4-0-1) with a 4-2 win on Nov. 29 and has won five of its last six visits to Minnesota.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Columbus), FS North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (28-16-3): Since Sergei Bobrovsky was held out of one game after he was yanked during a loss to Tampa Bay on Jan. 8, Joonas Korpisalo has started four of the past five contests, taking his first loss in that span Friday night. With Columbus on a back-to-back and playing the final game before its league-mandated break, it would seem likely Bobrovsky gets the nod against the Wild given his stellar 9-2-1 record and 1.80 goals-against average against them. The Blue Jackets' top line of Cam Atkinson, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Artemi Panarin was blanked by Montreal, ending their four-game point streaks.

ABOUT THE WILD (23-21-3): Forward Pontus Aberg, picked up in a trade with Anaheim earlier this week, had two shots on goal in his Minnesota debut versus his former club and will be on a line with another newcomer in Victor Rask alongside Parise. Rask, acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Nino Niederreiter on Wednesday, had a career-best 21 goals in 2015-16 but has only one tally and six points in 26 games this season. "He could be a (No.) 2 or a 3 centerman, he has the capability of playing the wing as well," general manager Paul Fenton said. "He's a guy that, in my mind, needed a change of scenery."

OVERTIME

1. Wild G Devan Dubnyk is 10-7-3 with a 2.44 goals-against average versus Columbus.

2. Atkinson scored in the late-November matchup, giving him six goals in 13 games against the Wild.

3. Parise, who had a season-high 11 shots on net Thursday, has 10 goals in 17 games against the Blue Jackets

PREDICTION: Wild 3, Blue Jackets 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Columbus 28-16-2-1 L1 14-9-1-1 14-7-1-0 2-0-0-0 26-16-2-1 11-5-0-1
Minnesota 23-21-2-1 L1 12-9-2-1 11-12-0-0 5-4-1-0 18-17-1-1 8-4-1-0
Last Meeting
Columbus Minnesota
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/29/18 MIN 2 CLB 4 29 23 1-2 25 25 0-1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Columbus P. Dubois 2
Minnesota M. Granlund 1
Goals Player  
Columbus C. Atkinson 1
Minnesota M. Granlund 1
Assists Player  
Columbus P. Dubois 2
Minnesota M. Koivu 1
Saves Player  
Columbus S. Bobrovsky 23
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 25
Season
Total Points Player  
Columbus A. Panarin 59
Minnesota Z. Parise 44
Goals Player  
Columbus C. Atkinson 30
Minnesota Z. Parise 21
Assists Player  
Columbus A. Panarin 38
Minnesota M. Granlund 30
Saves Player  
Columbus S. Bobrovsky 907
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 1061
Quickchart Matchup
Columbus Off vs  Minnesota Def
3.26 GF
2.89 GA
32.1 Shots
29.5 Shots
20 PP
21 PK
Minnesota Off vs  Columbus Def
2.77 GF
3.04 GA
31.5 Shots
30.2 Shots
29 PP
22 PK