Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Series Tied 0-0
Root Sports, NBCSN, FS-O, CBC – 7:30 pm/et
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Here we are. The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins are about to play their first meaningful hockey game in quite some time. For the last little while, the Pens were set in the number two seed in the East; they couldn’t move up and they couldn’t move down. All they needed to do was avoid injury and hope their injured teammates would heal. Now the line-up looks as healthy as it’s looked in months. Evgeni Malkin and Joe Vitale will likely play today. Kris Letang is back. Paul Martin is back. This is how the team was designed to look. Now they have to perform.
Notes & Line Combinations: Playoff Game One
Opposition Blog: The Cannon
What They’re Saying: “The Second Season Begins”
“The Penguins have confirmed that Malkin is back, so we’re going to be facing a fully armed and operational top six, while the Jackets still won’t have Nick Foligno or R. J. Umberger until at least Saturday. Columbus has their work cut out for them neutralizing those top two lines, but I think we’re up for the challenge – and as just about everyone has mentioned, Pittsburgh’s bottom six has some issues that I think we can exploit.
To this point, discussions of how the teams will match up have been theory and guesswork. Now, it’s time to see what happens when things are put into practice.
It’s a big day. Perhaps the biggest this team has had since John Davidson took the helm.
Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Marc-Andre Fleury. The pressure on him to perform will be huge throughout the playoffs.
Blue Jackets Player(s) to Watch: Ryan Johansen. It’s his first NHL playoff game. How will he handle it?
Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game: