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Sharks at Blue Jackets Preview: Basement battle

To kick off the longest road trip of the 2022-23 season, the San Jose Sharks (14-23-9, seventh Pacific) are visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets (13-30-2, eighth Metropolitan) at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the first meeting this season between San Jose, 28th overall in the league, and Columbus, who are currently on a 3-15-0 skid and became the NHL’s bottom team after a Jan. 19 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Blue Jackets missed the 2022 playoffs and earned the sixth-overall draft selection. The off-season showed promise in free agency, when general manager Jarmo Kekalainen signed defender Erik Gudbranson and star forward Johnny Gaudreau from the Calgary Flames.