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Game Day pres. by AAA: Preseason #5 (at Pittsburgh)

by Brian McCormack / Columbus Blue Jackets

FINAL: Penguins 2, CBJ 1

Brian Gibbons goal audio:

Ok, so maybe the second period wasn't all that exciting. That just means we're set up for an entertaining third period between two rivals renewing preseason acquaintances. The Blue Jackets had only three shots in the second period, and much of the middle frame was played between the blue lines as neither team could get much going in transition. Fleury made a pair of good saves in the second period, both coming on Blue Jackets' power plays and that's where we stand after 40 minutes. Shots are 14-10 favoring Pittsburgh and, truth be told, neither side has gotten many quality chances. Expect a big push from the visitors to begin this third period in an attempt to chip away at the two-goal deficit...hey, it's been done here before. 

The old saying in hockey is that the first team to wake up usually has success in afternoon games. Today in Pittsburgh, the Penguins were the person who wakes up on the first sounding of the alarm, goes for a run and mows the lawn before leaving for work. They had a fairly good grip on things from the get-go, controlling the pace and making it hard for the Blue Jackets to exit their zone with any consistency. Kasperi Kapanen scored the opening goal late in a Penguins power play, roofing one under the bar at 5:52 of the first. Andrew Ebbett made it 2-0, finishing off a back-door pass from Christian Ehrhoff at 11:44. Shots are 9-7 Pittsburgh after 20 minutes at CONSOL Energy Center.

The Blue Jackets elected to make a couple of switches today with their lineup, replacing Dalton Prout and Kerby Rychel with Cody Goloubef and Dana Tyrell. Sergei Bobrovsky starts in goal and is expected to play the full game, and the same is planned for Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Penguins F Sidney Crosby will not make his preseason debut today due to the passing of his grandmother. Our condolences go out to Sidney and his family. READ MORE 


The Blue Jackets make their first visit of the preseason to CONSOL Energy Center to face the Penguins only four days after shutting out the Penguins on home ice. It figures to be a much different looking Pittsburgh lineup this time around, as both Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz appear cleared to play on Saturday.

Crosby and Kunitz have been sidelined for much of the preseason as they rehabilitate off-season injuries, but both players practiced on Thursday and should have the go-ahead from doctors to dress for game action.

"Crosby and Kunitz look good. I would expect if practice goes well [Friday], I'm hoping they will be cleared to play on Saturday," Johnston said.

Due to an injury of his own, Evgeni Malkin still has not taken part in team activities.

The Penguins notched their first win of the preseason - an overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild - on Thursday night in their preseason home opener. Brandon Sutter had two goals in the game, including the game-winner.

The Jackets come into Pittsburgh with a perfect 4-0 preseason record less than 48 hours after defeating a veteran-laden St. Louis Blues lineup at Scottrade Center. Columbus jumped out to a 5-1 lead (with five different scorers and three power play goals) and held on for a 5-4 win.

Got a burning #CBJ question? Tweet it with hashtag #RbAExperts & you might hear it on today's radio broadcast!

Mark Letestu continued his impressive preseason with his first goal, along with another assist on a power play goal by Fedor Tyutin.  The Jackets' power play has been strong in the first four games, and converted on three of seven opportunities in St. Louis. The power play is clicking at nearly 28 percent in the exhibition season.

Sergei Bobrovsky, who started the Jackets’ win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday, is expected to start again on Saturday afternoon.

For the Blue Jackets…

Forwards: Anderson, Bjorkstrand, Calvert, Chaput, Collins, Dubinsky, Gibbons, Hjalmarsson, Rychel, Tropp, Tynan, Wennberg

Defense: Madaisky, Ponich, Prout, Savard, St. Denis, Weber

Goalies: Bobrovsky, McElhinney

*Line combinations to be determined after the team’s morning skate.

at Nashville Predators
Monday, 8 p.m. ET
Bridgestone Arena

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