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Game 6 Preview/GameThread: Blue Jackets look to reach .500 against Penguins

A third straight win would be cool

NHL: SEP 25 Penguins at Blue Jackets Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Saturday, October 22, 2022
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio, ESPN+ - Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pensburgh

Pittsburgh Penguins (3-0-1, 7 points, 1st Metropolitan, 2nd East)
at
Columbus Blue Jackets (2-3-0, 4 points, 8th Metropolitan, 16th East)

After a pair of come-from-behind wins to pull out of an early-season nosedive, the Jackets welcome the Penguins into Nationwide for their first matchup of the season.

Player to Watch: Nick Blankenburg

The Jackets scratched Nick Blankenburg for the first three games of the season, and went 0-3. They then inserted him into the lineup for the two most recent games, and are 2-0 in those contests. Coincidence? I think not. Only a little. Blanks has been a godsend, a furious ball of energy making a difference. He led the comeback Thursday against Nashville, is there more BlankenMagic left in the tank?

Jackets Notes

Again, expect the same or very similar lineup to the last game. ... Patrik Laine has been skating in practice in full gear, and took some one-timers yesterday. Could he return ahead of his projected 3-week timeframe? ... Johnny Hockey has been a standout in the past two games as well, and will need to contribute for the Jackets to stand a chance versus Pittsburgh.

The Other Bench

The Penguins are off to a hot start, yet to lose a game in regulation. ... Pittsburgh is expected to go with a 11/7 arrangement tonight, with Jake Guentzel injured and Teddy Blueger day-to-day. ... This is the first game of a five-game trip for the Penguins, as they tour the Pacific Northwest following tonight. Their OTL came in their only road game so far. ... The Pens lead the NHL with 5 goals per game.

Season Series

10/22/2022 PIT at CBJ
12/6/2022 CBJ at PIT
3/7/2023 CBJ at PIT
4/13/2023 PIT at CBJ

Stats

Pittsburgh Columbus
5.00 (1) GPG 2.80 (23)
2.00 (2) GAPG 4.00 (27)
31.3% (7) PP% sigh
72.2% (25) PK% 86.7% (9)
50.9% (14) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.2% (25)
54.2% (6) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.7% (23)
11.2% (5) 5v5 Shot % 9.1% (17)
.979 (1) 5v5 Save % .879 (30)
Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin, 3 Goals Leader Johnny Hockey, 4
Sidney Crosby, 5 Assists Leader Yegor Chinakhov, 4
Sidney Crosby, 7 P Leader Johnny Hockey, 6
Jeff Petry, 8 PIM Leader Cole Sillinger and Captain Boone Jenner, 6
0-0-1 Home / Road 2-1-0
46-25-11 Last Season 37-38-7

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gustav Nyquist Captain Boone Jenner Johnny Hockey
Kent Johnson Jack Roslovic Jakub Voracek
Justin Danforth Cole Sillinger Yegor Chinakhov
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mattieu Olivier
Zach Werenski Nick Blankenburg
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Jake Bean Erik Gudbranson
Elvis Merzlikins
Daniil Tarasov

Pittsburgh Penguins

Columbus Blue Jackets
Danton Heinen Sidney Crosby Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker Evgeni Malkin Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn J**f C****r Kasperi Kapanen
Ryan Poehling Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin Kris Letang
Jeff Petry Marcus Pettersson
Pierre-Olivier Jospeh Jan Rutta/Chad Ruhwedel
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith