Pittsburgh Penguins (46-22-5) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (37-29-6)
Root Sports, FS-O – 7:00 pm/et
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, OH
It’s a potential round one playoff match-up as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Columbus Blue Jackets
One point gets the Penguins into the playoffs. The Blue Jackets are fighting to remain in one of the two Wild Card spots.
Beau Bennett has been recalled from WBS. We’re not sure if he’ll be in the line-up today. Then again, we really don’t know what the line-up will be today.
STATS, INFO & NOTES:
Penguins: Sidney Crosby (34G, 62A: 96P)
Blue Jackets: Ryan Johansen (29G, 25A: 54P)
Probable Starting Goaltenders:
Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (34-17-4, 2.37 GAA, .915 Sv%)
Blue Jackets: Curtis McElhinney (9-9-1, 2.75 GAA, .909 Sv%)
Penguins: Defeated Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 [OT].
Blue Jackets: Defeated New Jersey Devils 2-1 [SO].
Blue Jackets: 5-4-1
“The Jackets have lost all four previous meetings to the Penguins, but have a prime opportunity to steal the finale this evening. The Pens are without Evgeni Malkin, and of course Kris Letang. They’ve been on a bit of a skid lately as well, including a loss to the Kings last night.
The Jackets, on the other hand, have been off since Tuesday and should be well-rested against the tired Pens. The points are there to be taken.”
What Happened Last Time: December 29, 2013 – Pens won 5-3. [Our Recap]
“Rob Scuderi was back, and the big outrage on the Internet was Deryk Engelland getting the call instead of Simon Despres. That debate and discussion will only get worse when Paul Martin’s return boots Bortuzzo up to the press box…and then Kris Letang returns. Knowing Bylsma’s track record, a healthy blue line could mean Engelland will dress instead of Maatta, which would be borderline insanity.
There’s people who say Engelland will be moved to forward again when it’s time to cross that bridge. But why not just have Engelland getting acclimated to playing forward as soon as possible?
But then again, the Penguins are winning games, and they are doing it with a particular style. You could put Gumby in the lineup and the Pens could win a game. The Bylsma system is far more complex than we even thought. And this game was a great example of it. Again we saw the third and fourth lines survive long enough to give Crosby and Neal time. The Blue Jackets couldn’t take advantage, and then they played a horrible third period. It doesn’t hurt that James Neal is in some type of 2000 Alexei Kovalev mode. Neal’s wrister in the slot is almost as automatic as it gets right now.”
Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Sidney Crosby.
Blue Jackets Player(s) to Watch: Curtis McElhinney. With Bobrovsky out with an illness, the pressure is on McElhinney.
Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game:
Guessing at the Penguins’ lines with help from Daily Faceoff:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Lee Stempniak
Beau Bennett – Jussi Jokinen – James Neal
Taylor Pyatt – Brandon Sutter – Brian Gibbons
Tanner Glass – Craig Adams – Jayson Megna
Matt Niskanen – Olli Maatta
No idea. It looks like Jokinen is back at center. Will a hot dog guy come in off the street and play on the third line? We have no clue.
Columbus Blue Jackets lines from Daily Faceoff:
Boone Jenner – Ryan Johansen – Nathan Horton
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger – Artem Anisimov – Nick Foligno
Derek MacKenzie- Mark Letestu – Blake Comeau
Jack Johnson – Dalton Prout