Game 12- Champs Come to Town

So much for a fresh start at home. Last game I was really hoping to see the Jackets get out of their West-coast funk and start turning things around. Instead, they looked just awful losing to the Coyotes on home ice.

Tonight Columbus will get another shot at righting the ship as the NHL-leading Penguins make the trip to Ohio. The Pens are without Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar and Tyler Kennedy, but they still possess a potent lineup that can score at will. Their top line is intact, with Sidney Crosby skating between Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin. Brent Johnson is expected to get the start in goal.

Another game, another set of lines for the forwards. Hitch has been flip-flopping again, this time sliding Antoine Vermette on the top line with Nash and Juice, with the second line comprising of RJ Umberger (back on the wing after a brief- and unsuccesful- return to center), Derick Brassard and Jake Voracek. Jake is the Jackets's early season MVP, and Derick Brassard paid his dues on the fourth line, and is going to rejoin a scoring line. Pairing him with the ever-consistent Voracek may turn out well for the Jackets. I look for RJ to have a big game playing with the kids. Jan Hejda is closer to returning but is still out. Steve Mason will get the start.

Fearless Prediction- RJ scores two goals playing with Brassard and Voracek, and Anton Stralman scores a powerplay marker.

Game Time: 7:00pm ET

Opponent's Blog: PensBurgh

Game Page: Penguins vs Blue Jackets Coverage

TSN Preview: Penguins vs Blue Jackets Preview

TV: FSN Ohio

Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)

More after the jump...

From the Columbus Dispatch:

If the Blue Jackets don't clean up their play with the puck and their penalty kill, this could get ugly. Big loss for the Penguins: Center Evgeni Malkin is out with a strained right shoulder. More line changes are coming for the Blue Jackets. Center Derick Brassard is likely to rejoin the top six. Backup goaltender Brent Johnson will get the nod for Pittsburgh.

Jackets Links:

Columbus Blue Jackets / Columbus Blue Jackets Schedule

Columbus Blue Jackets Roster / Columbus Blue Jackets Stats

Here are the lineups for tonight's tilt:

Columbus Blue Jackets

Kristian Huselius Antoine Vermette
Rick Nash
RJ Umberger
Derick Brassard
Jakub Voracek
Jason Chimera Sammy Pahlsson Derek Dorsett
Raffi Torres Mike Blunden
Nikita Filatov

Fedor Tytuin Anton Stralman
Mike Commodore Kris Russell
Marc Methot Rostislav Klesla

EXTRA: Jared Boll

INJURED: Fredrik Modin, Andrew Murray, Jan Hejda

Pittsburgh Penguins

Chirs Kunitz
Sidney Crosby
Bill Guerin
Ruslan Fedotenko
Jordan Staal
Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke
Mike Rupp
Craig Adams
Chris Connor
Mark Letestu
Chris Bourque
Brooks Orpik
Alex Goligoski
Kris Letang
Mark Eaton
Jay McKee
Martin Skoula
Brent Johnson
Marc-Andre Fleury
EXTRA: Eric Godard

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