Blue Jackets-Penguins Preview
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (8-14-4-2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (6-16-4-2).
TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Still searching for their first road win of the season, the struggling
Columbus Blue Jackets visit the hapless Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena.
Columbus has lost each of its last four road games, and is a dismal 0-9-1-1
away from home this season. The Blue Jackets are also looking to snap a
four-game winless streak overall, including a frustrating 3-2 overtime setback
to the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
The game ended with a controversial non-call as St. Louis's Keith Tkachuk
hit Columbus defenseman Darry Sydor, paving the way for Doug Weight's
game-winning goal with 8.7 seconds left in overtime.
"We deserved a better fate," Blue Jackets coach Doug MacLean said before
declining to comment on the non-call. "We deserved a tie, obviously, and maybe
Columbus' Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 19th goal to tie the game midway
through the third period. The No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, Nash's
19 goals in 28 games surpass his total from all of last season, when he
finished with 17 goals in 74 games. He has seven goals in his last seven games,
and points in nine of his last 10 contests (9 goals, two assists).
The league-worst Penguins capped a winless five-game road trip (0-4-0-1)
with a 6-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night.
Dick Tarnstrom had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who were without
goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The 19-year-old rookie is on loan to Canada's team
for the World Junior Championship, which takes place from Dec. 26 through Jan.
5 in Finland.
Sebastien Caron, who started in Fleury's place, was pulled for
Jean-Sebastien Aubin in the second period after Pittsburgh closed to 4-3.
"I have to deal with it, and that's part of the game," said Caron, who
lost his third straight start, allowing 19 goals in that span. "I was
disappointed, but you've got to give them credit. When they score four goals
like that, you've got to deal with it and get ready for the next time."