NHL PREVIEWS THURSDAY
February 27, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (29-24-5) AT NEW JERSEY DEVILS (24-22-13), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will continue their push for a playoff spot when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Thursday and they expect to have Marian Gaborik back in the lineup to help.
The Blue Jackets are playing their first game following the NHL's Olympic break and the layoff has given Gaborik time to recover from a broken collarbone. The injury forced the Slovakian winger to skip the Sochi Olympics, but he should be ready to go on Thursday.
Gaborik, who hasn't played since Dec. 21 against Philadelphia, has skated in only 18 games this season, recording five goals and seven assists during his injury-plagued campaign.
"I worked hard over the (Olympic break) to get back, and hopefully it's not going to take me too long to get into game shape," Gaborik told his club's official website. "I feel pretty good out there; I'm looking forward to this ... it's been a while. It's going to be a tough stretch, but every team is in the same situation."
The Blue Jackets, who made their one and only trip to the postseason in the spring of 2009, are three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.