The Columbus Blue Jackets got some good news as one of their top-line defenders, Zach Werenski, has been activated off of injured reserve. The 23-year-old blueliner has missed the past three games since suffering a lower-body injury on Feb. 4 against the Dallas Stars. To make room for Werenski, Columbus has placed third-string goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks on injured reserve.
Werenski should help strengthen the team’s blueline, which has given up 12 goals in the three games that Werenski has missed, including a pair of five-goal games. Fortunately for Columbus, the Blue Jackets went 2-1 during that span. Werenski has averaged 24:09 of ice time this season and has a goal and three assists, well below his offensive numbers after posting 20 goals a season ago. He did put up three points in his previous five games before getting injured, suggesting that his offense is coming around.
Kivlenieks had been serving as the backup to Joonas Korpisalo with Elvis Merzlikins on injured reserve. Kivlenieks never saw any action and with Merzlikins activated a couple of days ago, the team has opened a roster spot by placing Kivlenieks on IR after he suffered a lower-body injury in practice a week ago and is considered day-to-day.