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Game 82 Preview: Finale

Blue Jackets travel to Pittsburgh to end the season

Edmonton Oilers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Friday, April 29, 2022 - 7:00 PM ET
PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: Bally Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 The Fan
All Stats through 4/27 games

Columbus Blue Jackets (36-37-7, 79 points, 6th Metropolitan, 10th East)
at
Pittsburgh Penguins (45-25-11, 101 points, 3rd Metropolitan, 7th East)

This is it.

After horrific tragedy, stretches of great play, stretches of very-much-not-great play, Covid scares, and the injury bug, it all ends tonight. The Columbus Blue Jackets’ 2021-22 season wraps up with a road contest against the archrival Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blue Jackets remain without large chunks of their core due to injury, while the Penguins will likely rest a large portion of theirs prior to their first round matchup versus the New York Rangers.

Depending on how the game last night went (I’m writing this around 5PM Thursday), the Blue Jackets will also be fighting for a chance to finish the season at .500, which would put the finishing flourish on a season where they already exceeded the expectations most pundits placed on them. Other than that and good ole fashioned hate, there’s not much to play for tonight.

Player to Watch: Jakub Voracek

The Czech right wing made his impact in his return to Columbus, and looks to break into second place in single-season assists for the Blue Jackets. One more ties Artemi Panarin, two more passes him. Also, the guy is a former Flyer, and they also do not like the Penguins whatsoever.

Jackets Notes

Werenski, Jenner, Kuraly, Korpisalo, Texier, and Tarasov are all done for the season. Laine, Boqvist, and Blankenburg are also not likely to play. ... Jeff Carter is on the Penguins now, as if we needed another reason to hate him/them. ... I actually really like the city of Pittsburgh, the sports teams just suck. It’s beautiful, has some cool museums, lots of railfanning, color-coordinated. I just felt like putting that in somewhere.

Season Series

1/21/22 - Pittsburgh at Columbus - 2-5 L
2/27/22 - Pittsburgh at Columbus - 2-3 L
3/22/22 - Columbus at Pittsburgh - 1-5 L
4/29/22 - Columbus at Pittsburgh

Stats

Pittsburgh Columbus
3.26 (11) GPG 3.13 (14)
2.70 (5) GAPG 3.63 (28)
20.4% (18) PP% 18.0% (25)
85.0% (3) PK% 78.5% (20)
52.1% (10) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.6% (23)
52.9% (8) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.6% (26)
8.0% (23) 5v5 Shot % 9.1% (7)
.924 (6) 5v5 Save % .909 (26)
Jake Guentzel, 40 G Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND & Patrik Laine, 26
Kris Letang, 58 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 54
Sidney Crosby, 84 P Leader Jakub Voracek, 59
Kris Letang, 49 PIM Leader Vladislav Gavrikov, 62
22-13-5 Home / Road 16-22-2
4-5-1 Last 10 4-5-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gustav Nyquist Jack Roslovic Jakub Voracek
Yegor Chinakhov Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Eric Robinson Justin Danforth Emil Bemstrom
Kent Johnson Brendan Gaunce Carson Meyer
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Dean Kukan Jake Bean
Gavin Bayreuther Gabriel Carlsson
Elvis Merzlikins
JF Berube

Pittsburgh Penguins (resting players included)

Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn Evgeni Malkin Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker Jeff Carter Kasperi Kapanen
Danton Heinen Teddy Blueger Evan Rodrigues
Brian Dumoulin Kris Letang
Michael Matheson Chad Ruhwedel
Marcus Pettersson John Marino
Casey DeSmith
Louis Domingue

Thanks!

Finally, I just wanted to say thanks to PD and the rest of the staff for letting me join this year, and all of y’all for reading through my ramblings over the course of the season. It’s been a blast, and we have some cool things planned for the offseason!