clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preseason Game 8 preview/open thread: The regular roster warms up against the Penguins

Here’s what to expect

NHL: SEP 27 Preseason - Blue Jackets at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Saturday, October 9, 2021, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: BlueJackets.com; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pensburgh

The Blue Jackets can close out the preseason with a winning record with a victory tonight over their Metropolitan Division rivals. Led by new faces such as veteran Jake Voracek and rookies Yegor Chinakhov and Cole Sillinger, the Jackets have posted a 4-2-1 record. The two regulation losses came in road games where a mostly AHL roster lost to a roster heavy with NHLers. On the other hand, the Jackets starters have also feasted upon weak opponents. Tonight provides a different test, with the Penguins bringing their opening night lineup.

A Columbus win tonight could justify the growing optimism, and provide some momentum to carry into Thursday night’s season opener.

Blue Jackets lineup and notes

Earlier this week, Max Domi was cleared to participate in full contact practice, and there’s a chance he could be in the opening night lineup. We are just barely four months from his shoulder surgery, which typically has a four to six month recovery time. His presence would add more skill to the lineup and depth at the center position, but also further complicates the final roster math. Does Domi’s return keep someone like Sillinger or Chinakhov or Emil Bemstrom in Cleveland to start the season?

These were the practice lines on Friday morning, so expect to see these forwards play tonight:

Here is the full lineup:

The most notable absence is Zach Werenski. Obviously his position is well established, so Brad Larsen is looking to get a longer look at some defensemen on the bubble, especially after last night's stinker. Seattle Kraken legend Gavin Bayreuther had already been sent to Cleveland, but his solid play with Mikko Lehtonen has earned him another shot. Andrew Peeke has played a lot in preseason, with mixed results. Seems like a bad sign for the Kukan/Harrington/Carlsson trio, at least as far as getting regular minutes.

Penguins lineup and notes

The Penguins will start the season without their stars, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, due to injury. In an additional setback, forwards Jake Guentzel and Zach Aston-Reese are also unavailable due to COVID.

Pittsburgh made another round of cuts on Friday morning. The ageless Brian Boyle is still in camp, and will be playing tonight in one last attempt to turn his PTO into a contract.

Here is their roster for tonight:

Forwards:

9 - Evan Rodrigues
10 - Drew O’Connor
11 - Brian Boyle
16 - Jason Zucker
18 - Sam Lafferty
17 - Bryan Rust
23 - Brock McGinn
42 - Kasperi Kapanen
43 - Danton Heinen
49 - Dominik Simon
53 - Teddy Blueger
57 - Anthony Angello
77 - J*ff C*rt*r

Defensemen:

2 - Chad Ruhwedel
6 - John Marino
8 - Brian Dumoulin
28 - Marcus Pettersson
52 - Mark Friedman
58 - Kris Letang

Goaltenders:

1 - Casey DeSmith
35 - Tristan Jarry