Game #64 Preview: Blue Jackets visit sliding Penguins

The Blue Jackets would love to do the Sabres and Senators a favor tonight.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 - 7:00 PM ET
PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pensburgh

Columbus Blue Jackets (20-37-6, 46 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)


Pittsburgh Penguins (31-22-9, 71 points, 5th Metro, 8th East)

The Penguins are barely hanging onto a playoff spot and have only played .523 hockey over their last 22 games — a slower pace than the chasing Sabres, Senators, and Panthers. The Blue Jackets have been playing their most consistent hockey of the season and would love to hand Pittsburgh an L this evening. It has been 39 months since the Jackets have won a game against the Penguins, but there is no better time than the present to end that losing streak.

Player to Watch
Patrik Laine

The Finn has been playing well lately. In his last 10 games, he has 5 goals and 6 assists, including 4 power play goals. He has been developing chemistry with Marchenko, Johnson, and Boqvist, which bodes well for next season.

Jackets Notes

The tank is being threatened. The Jackets have played .500 hockey since February 1st — Vancouver, Chicago and San Jose have been losing at a faster rate. Thankfully, Arizona and Anaheim have both been playing decently well, but the current distance between the Jackets and 28th is only 6 points. For those keeping track at home, the difference between the 32nd and 28th place team landing a top 2 pick is 44.3% vs 17.3%. The draft pick floor for the last place team is 3rd, but 7th if you finish 4 spots higher. The Jackets have been sitting in last place for a while, but right now it feels like they will likely pass a few teams before season’s end.

The Other Bench

Yesterday, MrSwift13 highlighted the Penguins as a trade deadline loser.  It will be interesting to see how they respond down the stretch, but it’s not looking good for them right now. Since the beginning of the calendar year, they are 27th worst in 5v5 shots against per game and 24th worst in goals against in all situations. They currently hold the second wild card spot, but hot on their heels are the Ottawa Senators, one of the hottest teams in the league.

Season Series

10/22/22 - PIT 6 @ CBJ 3
12/6/22 - CBJ 1 @ PIT 4
3/7/23 - CBJ @ PIT
4/13/23 - PIT @ CBJ


Pittsburgh   Columbus
3.23 (14) GPG 2.57 (30)
3.19 (18) GAPG 3.70 (29)
20.8% (18) PP% 17.4% (28)
79.6% (15) PK% 76.6% (20)
51.35% (12) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.44% (28)
51.26% (11) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.23% (29)
7.8 (24) 5v5 Shooting % 7.7 (26)
.919 (11) 5v5 Save % .911 (21)
Sidney Crosby, 27 G Leader Jenner, Laine, 19
Sidney Crosby, 46 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 40
Sidney Crosby, 73 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 55
Marcus Pettersson, 50 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 79
16-9-4 Home / Road 7-18-4
5-5-0 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lineups

Johnny Gaudreau Boone Jenner Kirill Marchenko
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Kent Johnson
Eric Robinson Cole Sillinger Mathieu Olivier
Liam Foudy Lane Pederson Emil Bemstrom
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Nick Blankenburg Andrew Peeke
Gavin Bayreuther Adam Boqvist
Elvis Merzlikins
Michael Hutchinson
Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker Evgeni Malkin Bryan Rust
Danton Heinen Jeff Carter Mikael Granlund
Drew O'Connor Nick Bonino Josh Archibald
Kris Letang Brian Dumoulin
Jeff Petry Marcus Pettersson
Jan Rutta Pierre-Olivier Joseph
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith

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