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Penguins vs. Blue Jackets Game #1 Preview - The Second Season Begins

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The Blue Jackets went 0-5-0 against the Penguins in the regular season. Which matters exactly nada for this series. Hopefully.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins

April 16, 2014 - 7:00 pm EDT
Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Pensburgh

We've spent the last several days laying out the ways that these teams match up, how they contrast, where they're similar, and where each team will try to find an edge so that they can keep pushing forward towards Hockey's ultimate goal.

The Penguins have confirmed that Malkin is back, so we're going to be facing a fully armed and operational top six, while the Jackets still won't have Nick Foligno or R. J. Umberger until at least Saturday. Columbus has their work cut out for them neutralizing those top two lines, but I think we're up for the challenge - and as just about everyone has mentioned, Pittsburgh's bottom six has some issues that I think we can exploit.

To this point, discussions of how the teams will match up have been theory and guesswork. Now, it's time to see what happens when things are put into practice.

It's a big day. Perhaps the biggest this team has had since John Davidson took the helm.

Go Jackets.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(regular season: 43-32-7, 93 Points; 4th division, 7th conference)

Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Jack Skille
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Derek MacKenzie Artem Anisimov Blake Comeau
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin David Savard
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Pittsburgh Penguins
(regular season: 51-24-7, 109 Points; 1st Division, 2nd Conference)

Chris Kunitz Sidney Crosby Beau Bennett
Jussi Jokinen Evgeni Malkin James Neal
Tanner Glass Brandon Sutter Lee Stempniak
Craig Adams Joe Vitale Brian Gibbons

Brooks Orpik Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi Kris Letang
Olli Maatta Matt Niskanen
Marc-Andre Fleury
Jeff Zatkoff

Series Results

04/16/14 - Columbus at Pittsburgh
04/18/14 - Columbus at Pittsburgh
04/21/14 - Pittsburgh at Columbus
04/23/14 - Pittsburgh at Columbus
04/26/14 - Columbus at Pittsburgh*
04/28/14 - Pittsburgh at Columbus*
04/30/14 - Columbus at Pittsburgh*
*if necessary

Regular Season Head to Head Stats

Pittsburgh Columbus
2.95 (5) GPG 2.76 (12)
2.49 (10) GAPG 2.61 (13)
23.4% (1) PP% 19.3% (11)
85.0% (5) PK% 82.1% (14)
Sidney Crosby, 36 G leader Ryan Johansen, 33
Sidney Crosby, 68 A leader James Wisniewski, 44
Sidney Crosby, 104 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 63
Tanner Glass, 90 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 98
28-9-4 Home/Road 21-17-3
23-15-3 Road/Home 22-15-4