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Blue Jackets at Penguins preview

Pittsburgh seeks eighth straight home win against Columbus

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (0-1-0) at PENGUINS (0-1-0)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets each look to rebound from a season-opening loss when they renew their Metropolitan Division rivalry at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.



Pittsburgh lost 3-1 at home to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday and turned the puck over 17 times.

Columbus will play the second half of back-to-back games after losing its home opener 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. It was 1-3-0 against Pittsburgh last season.

The Penguins have won seven consecutive games at home against the Blue Jackets since a 2-1 loss on Nov. 13, 2015. They are 15-4-0 at home all-time against Columbus.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson scored the only goal against the Maple Leafs on Friday. He had four goals in four games against the Penguins last season.

Penguins forward Jake Guentzel has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 11 regular-season games against the Blue Jackets. His seven goals and 12 points are his most against any NHL team.


They said it

"Stay out of the box and all the clichés. A great test for us, maybe, to learn from a game like [Friday]. Bring it into a pretty similar game [Saturday]. Knowing there's some really dangerous players over there [with the Penguins] that we can take advantage of if we just play a 5-on-5 game and make it hard on them." -- Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno

"Columbus still has a very good hockey team. They're a hard team to play against. ... We know they're going to be a hard team to play against tonight." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Alexandre Texier -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno -- Boone Jenner -- Josh Anderson

Gustav Nyquist -- Alexander Wennberg -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Jakob Lilja -- Riley Nash -- Emil Bemstrom

Ryan Murray -- Seth Jones

Zach Werenski -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Markus Nutivaara

Joonas Korpisalo

Elvis Merzlikins

Scratched: Dean Kukan, Vladislav Gavrikov, Sonny Milano

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist)


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Dominik Simon

Alex Galchenyuk -- Evgeni Malkin -- Brandon Tanev

Jared McCann -- Nick Bjugstad -- Patric Hornqvist

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Dominik Kahun

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson -- Erik Gudbranson

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Juuso Riikola, John Marino, Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Bryan Rust (upper body)


Status report

The Blue Jackets did not hold a morning skate. ... Simon is expected to replace Hornqvist at first-line right wing. He played fourth-line right wing Thursday.


Stat pack

Bjorkstrand is two games away from 200 in the NHL and needs three points to reach 100. ... Murray is 8-2-1 against Columbus with a 2.65 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. ... Malkin, who scored Pittsburgh's only goal Thursday, has a nine-game point streak (three goals, eight assists) against the Blue Jackets.

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