Jan 30, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing R.J. Umberger (18) brings the puck up the ice against the Washington Capitals at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won the game 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jackets Scratch R.J. Umberger

When the Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Montreal Canadiens in a major Eastern Conference matchup on Thursday night, they will be doing it without a lineup staple on the ice.

According to head coach Todd Richards, veteran forward R.J. Umberger will be a health scratch for the first time this season when the team takes the ice at the Bell Centre tonight.

Umberger is third on the team in goals this sesaon with 18, and has averaged 17:34 of ice time in 68 games. In the last six games, though, Umberger has just one point, and has struggled to produce in any way, shape or form during the month of March.

The Blue Jackets are fighting to appear in the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history. They currently hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, but are tied with ninth-place Washington in points with 76. They are two points back of the New York Rangers for third in the Metropolitan Division.

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets NHL R.j. Umberger

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