5,500 attended Blue Jackets public practice session at Nationwide Arena

Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Blue Jackets and fans still don’t know who they will face-off against in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but today fans and the player didn’t have to look far to see the next faces they would face.

In fact, both teams call Nationwide Arena their home and represent the capital city.

For the first time during the playoffs run, the Jackets held a scrimmage match for fans.

It was the first time since last week’s first-round sweep against the Tampa Bay Lightning, CBJ fans saw the players lace up their skates and hit the ice.

“I like hockey a lot. I like Sergei Bobrovsky, Nick Foligno, Matt Duchene,” said fan Kelley Philphower.

“If you are hockey fan this is a great lunch hour for you,” said fan Matt Pfefer.

5,500 CBJ fans filled Nationwide Arena, some waiting a couple of hours to get the best seats in the house.

“We waited about an hour and a half. Got here about 8:30 in the morning,” said Steven Thompson.

“After 20 years of this, it’s pretty exciting to see. Being a Buckeye fan, we’ve seen excitement at football games, but seeing this team make it to this level has been great,” said fan, Brad Philhower.

For some, this may be the last time they get to see the Jackets play inside Nationwide Arena.

Single game tickets for the second round of the playoffs sold out Friday in hours.

Matt Pfefer says he will be in the building even if that means he’s watching from the top of the arena.

“Yes, I got tickets for the game. I’m not missing this for the world. I am excited. I’m going to be sitting way up in the nose bleeds. But it’s worth it to be in the building and see history.”

Fans here today are just glad for the fan appreciation.

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