The Blue Jackets playoff push resumes here in Pittsburgh against the Penguins tonight. The Jackets are winners of three straight on the road and of course tonight's game follows up their two weekend victories, Friday in Detroit and Saturday's come from behind win over Edmonton.
Tonight's game will not be an easy one. Yes, the Penguins are minus their top two stars, but they continue to win games. Sunday's loss to the Capitals in Washington snapped a five-game winning streak, but they still have a streak of five straight wins at home without the likes of Crosby and for the most part Malkin.
Coach Scott Arniel was asked about the Pens without Crosby and Malkin and quickly answered, "hasn't changed a whole lot, they are still going strong." Arniel went on to discuss the team's first meeting in Columbus, won 7-2 by the Penguins, back in December and said, "that loss stung us pretty good. We were rolling pretty good at that time."
Great goalie match-up tonight as Steve Mason makes his seventh consecutive start for the Blue Jackets and Marc-Andre Fleury goes for the Penguins. Fleury has been outstanding of late and a big reason why the Penguins continue to win without their big guns in their lineup.
The Penguins loss Sunday was summed up this morning by Pens head coach Dan Bylsma as a simple case of not creating enough scoring chances. Bylsma added, "we didn't create enough action around the Caps net to produce and score goals."
We have certainly heard that before.
So look for a lot of jamming the net in front of Mason tonight by the Penguins and it will be the responsibility of the Jackets defensemen to clear the front of crease to allow Mason to see the shots.
Tonight's telecast is in HD on FOX Sports Ohio beginning at 7 p.m. with coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. and Blue Jackets Live.
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blog - Rimer's Game Day Ramblings. The Columbus Blue Jackets' television play-by-play man will try to keep you updated on all the season action through his blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.