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Game 53 Open Thread: Undermanned Pens Still Dangerous

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I hate the term "must-win". That isn't to say I haven't used the term before, I just think it's one of those overused terms that has lost its meaning. I was tempted to call this game a must-win however, because quite frankly, it's important as it gets.

The Jackets are within striking distance of the playoffs. I like to look at the season in three game increments- if you can take four of six points in every segment, you're in good shape. On the other hand, some teams rely on streaks to gain points in the standings. Columbus is a streak team. Leading up to and now shortly after the all star break, the Jackets are in the midst of a stretch of winning hockey, and tonight the Jackets look to keep it going against the Penguins.

I don't put a heck of a lot of stock in the fact that Crosby and Malkin are out of the lineup, the Pens know how to win and have enough weapons to beat you without their two big guns in the lineup.

The Jackets are going with a similar lineup as last game, but it remains to be seen if John Moore is in the lineup. Seeing that I was screwed by blackout restrictions last game and missed it, I am hoping he dresses.

Go Jackets.

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