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Preseason Game #7 Preview: Blue Jackets vs. Penguins

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This is a dress rehearsal for the regulars

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets
He’s baaaaaaaaaaaack
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Friday, September 28, 2018 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports G0 or BlueJackets.com; Radio: 1460 AM
Opponent’s Blog: Pensburgh

Columbus Blue Jackets (2-4-0)

vs.

Pittsburgh Penguins (2-2-1)

Notes

While we’re mourning the injury to Seth Jones, there is good news tonight as his partner Zach Werenski will be making his preseason debut, after working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. It remains unclear what exactly the defensive pairs will look like tonight in the absence of Jones and Ryan Murray.

On the other hand, the forward lines tonight appear to be what we will see Thursday at Detroit, if all goes according to plan. We know what to expect from the Panarin/Dubois/Atkinson line, but I’m excited to see what the other three lines can do. I want to see more offense than we’ve had in most preseason games so far. Matt Murray isn’t making the trip, so there’s an opportunity there to light the lamp.

BJORKSTRAND scored a hat trick on Saturday in Pittsburgh. Tonight he’s finally together with Alexander Wennberg and Nick Foligno. Foligno and Wennberg had a great year together in 2016-17 with Brandon Saad. Can BJORKSTRAND replicate what Saad did? I hope so.

I’m skeptical of giving Brandon Dubinsky third line minutes, but I like the idea of a 38/17/77 line as one that will HURT.

The fourth line seems to indicate that both Sonny Milano and Anthony Duclair will, in fact, make the team. I like what I’ve seen from that pair in preseason. Riley Nash was a very solid offseason pickup and I think he can put his wings in a position to succeed.

Pittsburgh brings most of their regular tonight in what is their final preseason game. They play just 6 games while we play 8. That’s weird, right? Anyway, our old friend Jack Johnson is NOT in their lineup. Too bad.

Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

I will update this section once we get word on the defensive pairs.

Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Per the team’s website:

Goalies

1 Casey DeSmith
35 Tristan Jarry

Defense

2 Chad Ruhwedel
3 Olli Maatta
6 Jamie Oleksiak
8 Brian Dumoulin
50 Juuso Riikola
58 Kris Letang

Forwards

12 Dominik Simon
15 Riley Sheahan
17 Bryan Rust
19 Derick Brassard
38 Derek Grant
46 Zach Aston-Reese
59 Jake Guentzel
62 Carl Hagelin
71 Evgeni Malkin
72 Patric Hornqvist
81 Phil Kessel
87 Sidney Crosby