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Blue Jackets search for answers without Brassard

Philadelphia (19-9-7) at Columbus (14-16-4), 7:00 p.m. EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets are

learning the hard way how valuable rookie sensation Derick

Brassard was to their offensive scheme.

Looking to snap a two-game losing skid and a dry spell

offensively, the injury-stricken Blue Jackets host the

Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

A talented center, Brassard was a Calder Trophy candidate but

will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to

repair a dislocated shoulder suffered on December 18. The

21-year-old was injured during a fight with fellow rookie James

Neal in Dallas' 6-5 shootout win over Columbus.

Columbus has been shut out three times, but twice in the last

two games - both without Brassard, who had 10 goals and 15

assists in 31 contests.

The Blue Jackets fell, 2-0, at Phoenix last Saturday and then

fizzled again on Tuesday in a 3-0 setback against the Los

Angeles Kings. Rookie Steve Mason stopped 39 shots, but

Columbus saw its five-game winning streak at home end.

It has lost three straight and four of five overall.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, dropped the first game of its current

season-long six-game road trip in a 5-1 setback against the

surging Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

The Flyers have alternated losses and wins in their last five

contests, following a five-game winning streak.



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