Bobrovsky expected to return vs. Red Wings (Mar 09, 2018)

March 9, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sergei Bobrovsky could be back in goal on Friday night for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bobrovsky, the team's No. 1 goaltender, missed the past two games because of illness, but he likely will get the start against the visiting Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena.

The Blue Jackets (35-28-5) and Red Wings (26-30-11) will be playing the second game of a back-to-back.

The skidding Red Wings traveled to Columbus after their 4-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night at Little Caesars Arena. Detroit has lost five in a row.

The Blue Jackets reached the halfway point of a four-game homestand with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche that gave them their first three-game winning streak since winning six straight Nov. 11-24.

Seth Jones scored the winning goal 59 seconds into overtime, fellow defenseman Zach Werenski delivered a goal for the third time in four games, Thomas Vanek came through with his first two goals for the Blue Jackets and Boone Jenner added one.

"That's a huge win for us, just keep it going a little bit and gain our confidence," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "Celebrate it for a few minutes and we've got another one tomorrow night."

Backup Joonas Korpisalo started his second straight game in goal for the Blue Jackets and did just enough to collect his second straight win. He was the emergency starter on Tuesday night over the Golden Knights in a 4-1 victory, his first win in nearly two months.

Bobrovsky was not with the team on Tuesday after becoming ill but returned to the team for Thursday morning's skate and served as the backup against the Avalanche.

"I was sick, so that's what it is pretty much," Bobrovsky said. "It is what it is. I can't control that, and it makes no sense to (be) frustrated about that. That means I have to take care of my health at that time and make sure that I'm ready to go when I have a chance."

The 2017 Vezina Trophy winner said he's feeling good before the Blue Jackets' quick turnaround to play their 16th back-to-back this season.

"I got fluid back, I've got good meals and I'm ready to go," Bobrovsky said. "Got some sleep, for sure."

Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets are happy to see Korpisalo have some success.

"It's great for everybody," Bobrovsky said. "It's great for him. It's great for (the) team. It's great for the organization."

The Blue Jackets are playing like a desperate hockey team in their pursuit of an Eastern Conference playoff berth. They're in the second wild-card spot and trying to hold off all challengers.

"We've had a little bit of a homestand here, so we need these wins," Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. "Let's be honest. We've got to be a good team at home. We've got to be a hard team to play against. I hope three (wins) turns into four, turns into five and we just continue to roll here."

The Red Wings lost to the Golden Knights without center Frans Nielsen, who took a big hit on Tuesday night in Boston from David Backes in the first period and suffered an upper-body injury. Nielsen is out at least through the weekend.

Giving up three second-period goals proved to be the Red Wings' undoing against the expansion Golden Knights. Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg was candid in his assessment of the team.

"We can't play like that if we want to win games," Zetterberg said. "There's too much poke and hope on a lot of players. If you want to be a solid, good player in this league, if you want to win something, you have to learn to play the right way. Poke and hope might get you 25-30 goals, but you'll never win anything."

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill called his team's effort a "joke."

"Tonight, was no good," he said. "Tonight, was unacceptable.

Right winger Evgeny Svechnikov was called up from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League to replace Nielsen. The 21-year-old took one shot in nine minutes of ice team against Vegas.

"We've got to fix a couple of mistakes and we'll be better tomorrow," Svechnikov said.

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