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Game Day Hub: Jackets vs. Penguins

by BlueJackets.com Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

         

 

          






Nick Foligno Post Game

Brandon Dubinsky Post Game

Ryan Johansen Post Game

Todd Richards Post Game

Foligno's Second Goal

Scott Hartnell Goal

Nick Foligno Hat Trick


ANALYSIS: In a span of 2:03, the Blue Jackets turned this game from a bit of a second period snoozer to all square headed to the third period -- and the crowd here at Nationwide Arena roared its approval as the home team skated off after 40 minutes. The Penguins pushed their lead to 2-0 at 11:07 of the period after Brandon Sutter converted a nifty back-door pass from Ian Cole. But as they've done so often here lately, the Blue Jackets pushed back and they did so with authority late in the second. First it was a heavy shift from the Anisimov-Dubinsky-Foligno line (arguably the Jackets' best today), creating turnovers and putting all kinds of pressure on the Penguins defense. That hard work paid off in the form of a pretty play between Dubinsky and Foligno, with the latter cashing his team-leading 28th of the season to make it 2-1. Just over two minutes later, the fourth line went to work and gave the Penguins fits below the goal line. Matt Calvert rang his first chance off the post, but stayed with it and collected the rebound to tie the game with 1:32 left in the period. Should be a fun third period, so buckle up.

Nick Foligno Goal

Matt Calvert Goal

Second Period Highlights

ANALYSIS: Take away the Penguins goal (the only goal of the game so far) and you'll have a pretty solid period for the Blue Jackets. They've done well to get pucks in deep, force turnovers with their forecheck and not spend too much time in their defensive zone. The last part has been affected by two first period power plays for the Penguins, one of those being a nearly two-minute excursion in the Columbus end. We've seen the predictable Dubinsky-Crosby matchup, and so far, it appears as though Penguins coach Mike Johnston wants to get Brandon Sutter on the ice against Ryan Johansen (one of his former plays back in WHL Portland) as often as possible. Shots are 15-12 favoring Pittsburgh after an eventful first period.

First Period Highlights

UPDATE (1:35 PM): After pre-game rushes, we've made an update to today's Blue Jackets lines (see below)...

UPDATE (11:40 AM):
Here are some pre-game updates from Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards...

- Marko Dano returns to the lineup today after being a healthy scratch on Thursday. Jared Boll will be scratched.

- Bobrovsky starts, as we told you earlier.

- No other changes for the Blue Jackets today. The defense pairs will remain the same.

- That being said, here's the projected lineup:

Jenner - Johansen - Atkinson
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Foligno
Hartnell - Wennberg - Morin
Calvert - Letestu - Dano

Johnson - Savard
Tyutin - Prout
Connauton - Goloubef

Bobrovsky

David Savard Pregame

Nick Foligno Pregame

Good afternoon, Jackets fans!

It took all season, but we'll have a matinee at Nationwide Arena for Saturday's showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins come in desperate for points as they find themselves in a three-way shuffle for playoff positioning with the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders, the three teams separated by only one point with the Penguins sitting fourth in the Metropolitan Division and saddled with the first wild card spot to start the day's action. The Jackets are looking to wreck those plans once again and are in pursuit of their ninth straight win.

The task gets more difficult for the Penguins without some important players in the lineup. Evgeni Malkin (28-42-70) will not play today as he recovers from an undisclosed injury. Christian Ehrhoff was also ruled out for Saturday's game, while Kris Letang is recovering from a concussion sustained in last Saturday's game against the Coyotes.

- The Penguins have played the last two games with only five defenseman due to salary cap constraints and their recent injuries. Malkin's injury allowed the Penguins to bring up a defenseman on emergency recall, and they did so yesterday in bringing up Taylor Chorney.

- Sidney Crosby leads the NHL in scoring (26-54-80) and has two goals and six points in the last four games. He has two assists in two games against the Jackets this season.

- Ryan Johansen's points streak currently sits at nine games (4-8-12). His longest streak of the season is a 13-game streak that stretched from Dec. 18 to Jan. 17 (8-8-16),.

- This is the earliest start time for the Jackets since Oct. 26, a 4 p.m. start in Los Angeles. That game was technically an earlier puck-drop at 1 p.m. local time.

- Sergei Bobrovsky will start in goal for the Blue Jackets this afternoon.

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