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Game Preview #78 - A New World On the Horizon

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The Blue Jackets look to set a franchise record with nine straight wins and the Penguins come calling in a matinee game.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets

April 4, 2015 - 2:00 pm EDT
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 FM - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: PensBurgh

I apologize that this one is light on details, as it's early in the morning and it's the only time I have to write. With the early start time, an incomplete preview is better than no preview.

The Pens, much like the Isles before them, come into Columbus firmly in the playoffs, but also not playing well. They're coming off a national TV drubbing at the hands of Philadelphia the other night to the tune of 4-1. The Jackets, as you know, have matched last year's record eight-game winning streak, and have won 12 of 14.

I don't yet have any updates about the elephant in the room, and that's whether Jared Boll continues to play in place of Marko Dano. We shall see. On the other side, the Pens are super banged up (which may explain why they're not playing well... here, hang on while all of Columbus gets out their tiny violins and starts playing...). Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Christian Ehrhoff, and Olli Maatta headline the list of the wounded for Pittsburgh.

Columbus can win the season series with Pittsburgh with a win today. I think that sums it up.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets 
(38-35-4, 80 Points; 5th division, 11th conference)

Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
Artem Anisimov Brandon Dubinsky Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell Alexander Wennberg Jeremy Morin
Matt Calvert Mark Letestu Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kevin Connauton Cody Goloubef
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Pittsburgh Penguins
(42-24-11, 95 Points; 4th Division, 6th Conference)

David Perron Sidney Crosby Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz Daniel Winnik Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling Brandon Sutter Steve Downie
Beau Bennett Maxim Lapierre Craig Adams
Paul Martin Ben Lovejoy
Rob Scuderi Ian Cole
Taylor Chorney Derrick Pouliot
Marc-Andre Fleury
Thomas Greiss

Season Series

PIT - 1-1-1
CBJ - 2-1-0

12/13/14 - Pittsburgh 3 at Columbus 4 (SO)
2/19/15 - Columbus 2 at Pittsburgh 1
3/1/15 - Columbus 3 at Pittsburgh 5
4/4/15 - Pittsburgh at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Pittsburgh Columbus
2.69 (17) GPG 2.68 (19)
2.44 (8) GAPG 3.05 (25)
19.8% (8) PP% 22.0% (5)
85.3% (2) PK% 79.4% (24)
Evgeni Malkin, 28 G leader Nick Foligno, 27
Sidney Crosby, 54 A leader Ryan Johansen, 43
Sidney Crosby, 80 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 69
Steve Downie, 232 PIM leader Jared Boll, 109
19-11-7 Road/Home 16-20-2
3-6-1 Last 10 9-1-0
4/1 vs. Philadelphia, L 4-1 Last Game 4/2 vs. NY IslandersW 4-3 (SO)