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Game #53 Preview/Gamethread: Pesky Penguins visit Blue Jackets

Can the Jackets regain momentum at home?

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Sunday, February 27, 2022 - 7:00 ET
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 105.7 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pensburgh

Pittsburgh Penguins (35-11-4, 74 points, 1st Metro, 2nd East)
at
Columbus Blue Jackets (27-23-1, 53 points, 5th Metro, 9th East)

The Blue Jackets can’t win them all and they proved that on Friday night against the Hurricanes. They were able to take out two top teams in Florida and Toronto, but couldn’t muster any offense against the stingiest team in the league. The Penguins won’t be much easier. They sit at fourth in the league in goals against and may be deeper at the center position than any other team in the league.

Player to Watch

Cole Sillinger

This is a game where you want a young center like Sillinger to learn as much as he can. The Penguins are loaded down the middle and a tough challenge will be presented no matter where Cole is placed in the Jackets’ lineup. Sillinger was out the last time these two teams met, so this will be his first opportunity to take on the likes of Crosby, Malkin, and C*rt*r.

Jackets’ Bench

Laine’s point streak was ended against the Hurricanes. Hopefully he’s still hot and can start a new streak against the Penguins … Zach Werenski did not join the team on the road trip and Larsen has said he doesn’t know the all-star’s status for tonight. I’m willing him into the lineup below … Elvis Merzlikins was healthy enough to back up Berube in Carolina. I would imagine he gets the nod tonight.

Season Series

1/21/22 - PIT 5 @ CBJ 2
2/27/22 - PIT @ CBJ
3/22/22 - CBJ @ PIT
4/29/22 - CBJ @ PIT

Stats

Pittsburgh Columbus
3.20 (11) GPG 3.27 (10)
2.61(4) GAPG 3.64 (31)
21.9% (12) PP% 16.9% (24)
85.7% (3) PK% 81.2% (14)
52.71% (9) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.61% (21)
53.59% (6) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.79% (27)
7.52% (23) 5v5 Shooting % 9.53% (5)
.925 (8) 5v5 Save % .906 (30)
Jake Guentzel, 25 G Leader Boone Jenner, 22
Kris Letang, 41 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 35
Jake Guentzel, 52 P Leader Boone Jenner, 41
Guentzel & Letang, 30 PIM Leader Sean Kuraly, 37
17-6-3 Home / Road 14-10-1
5-4-1 Last 10 7-3-0

Projected Lineup

Columbus Blue Jackets

Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Jakub Voracek
Gus Nyquist Jack Roslovic Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Max Domi Sean Kuraly Yegor Chinakhov
Brendan Gaunce Cole Sillinger Justin Danforth
Zach Werenski Andrew Peeke
Vladislav Gavrikov Adam Boqvist
Dean Kukan Gabriel Carlsson
Elvis Merzlikins
Jean-Francois Berube

Pittsburgh Penguins

Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn J*ff C*rt*r Evan Rodrigues
Danton Heinen Evgeni Malkin Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Aston-Reese Brian Boyle Dominik Simon
Kris Letang Brian Dumoulin
John Marino Marcus Pettersson
Chad Ruhwedel Mark Friedman
Casey Desmith
Tristan Jarry

Go Jackets!