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Preview: Columbus at Minnesota

When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 22, 2015

Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

New coach John Tortorella looks to help the Columbus Blue Jackets snap a franchise-worst 0-7-0 start to their season on Thursday when the club visits the Minnesota Wild. Tortorella, who replaced the fired Todd Richards on Wednesday, won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 and had mixed success in his four years with the New York Rangers before the bottom fell out in his one season with Vancouver in 2013-14.

“John Tortorella is an experienced National Hockey League coach with a proven track record of success,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “He is a Stanley Cup winner, and we believe the right person to lead our team at this time.” The 57-year-old Tortorella will also see a few familiar faces in Minnesota’s Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, two players he’ll coach for Team USA at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Parise (team-leading five goals) and Suter (club-best five assists) are off to fast starts for the Wild, but both players saw their respective four-game point streaks come to an end in the team’s 4-1 setback to Anaheim on Sunday. While Minnesota has dropped two straight, it pales in comparison to Columbus’ seven-game skid that has seen it outscored by a lopsided 34-13 margin.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Columbus), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (0-7-0): Tortorella and Brandon Dubinsky had their fair share of issues during their respective time with the Rangers, but both insist that it’s water under the bridge. “I need to lean on him,” Tortorella said. “He’s part of that heartbeat of the club. He needs to be a conduit between the players and the coaching staff until I get to know the other guys.” Former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky (0-5-0, 5.07 goals-against average) has struggled mightily this season, but owns a 5-1-0 career mark with a 1.46 GAA versus the Wild.

ABOUT THE WILD (3-1-1): After scoring 12 goals in its first three games, Minnesota has mustered just two during its modest skid. Nino Niederreiter netted the lone goal versus the Ducks, but has failed to record a point in five career meetings with Columbus. Captain Mikko Koivu has enjoyed success against the Blue Jackets (26 points in 30 career encounters) and is riding a three-game point streak.

OVERTIME

1. Columbus has won the last five meetings in the series, but Minnesota still holds the overall edge (23-19-8).

2. Wild G Devan Dubnyk owns a 7-4-2 career mark with a 2.21 GAA versus the Blue Jackets.

3. Minnesota is clicking at 25 percent efficiency on the power play while Columbus’ penalty kill (66.7 percent) leaves a great deal to be desired.

PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 3, Wild 2