Columbus is getting a veteran back at forward, but losing one on defense.
That was the word from head coach Todd Richards this morning as he confirmed Nick Foligno would make his series debut against Pittsburgh on Monday while Fedor Tyutin, injured during the first period of Saturday’s win, would be out with an undisclosed injury.
Foligno, 26, will surely help the Blue Jackets’ offense — he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals this year, with 18, and averaged over 16 minutes a night. The former first-round pick had missed the last six games of the regular season and the opening two games at Consol with a knee injury, but has been cleared to return for the first playoff game at Nationwide since 2009.
“I’m really excited. The energy in the building’s going to be great,” Foligno said, per Columbus’ Rob Mixer. “I’m looking forward to joining the battle, so to speak.”
With Tyutin out, though, the Jackets face a tall task on the back end as trying to replace the Russian rearguard won’t be easy — he averaged over 21 minutes per game during the regular season and was the club’s third-leading defenseman scorer, behind James Wisniewski and Jack Johnson.
Dalton Prout will draw in for Tyutin and play on the Jackets’ third pairing with Nikita Nikitin. Foligno took morning rushes on a line with Artem Anisimov and R.J. Umberger, and it looks like Corey Tropp will be the healthy scratch up front.