The Columbus Blue Jackets (36-15-5) and Pittsburgh Penguins (36-13-7) will face off at Nationwide Arena in their third of four matchups on the season. So far, each team has won their home game and the CBJ will look to keep that pattern going on Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
A game between the Jackets and Penguins doesn’t require much of an introduction.
Given the recent history between these two teams and the fact that they’re both within a game of each other in the standings puts this in the category of must-see hockey.
The Blue Jackets will be rested heading into the matchup, with their last game coming Wednesday night at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Considering the way the team has played the last month, the 5-2 victory was a pretty good showing by the CBJ. After getting a great start from Joonas Korpisalo, Sergei Bobrovsky will be back in net for the Jackets.
The Penguins, on the other hand, will be playing their second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Winnipeg Jets in Pittsburgh on Thursday evening. With Marc Andre Fleury getting the start in that game, we’ll almost certainly see Matt Murray in goal for the Pens on Friday. Murray ranks third in the National Hockey League in save perentage, saving just under 93% of opposing shots on goal.
Despite scoring five goals in their last game, the Jackets are struggling offensively. They’ve averaged just over two goals per game in their last six; over one goal lower than their season average. They’ve struggled on the power play as well, scoring just one time on the man advantage in their last 10 games.
In front of a sold out Nationwide Arena, you can throw out all the numbers. There’s no love lost between these two clubs, so expect a spirited affair on Friday night.