NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, November 1st
(All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (5-6-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (9-4-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins will
kick off their Metropolitan Division rivalry with a home-and-home series,
beginning with Friday's battle in the Steel City.
The Blue Jackets switched conferences for this season, moving from West to
East, and joined the Penguins in the newly-formed Metropolitan Division. The
new divisional rivalry starts Friday at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center
before the clubs reconvene for tomorrow's battle in Columbus.
The Pens are dominating the Metropolitan so far and lead the division with 18
points, seven more than Carolina and the New York Islanders. Pittsburgh is
4-1-0 within the division this season and has won nine of its 14 all-time
meetings against the Blue Jackets.
Pittsburgh has won three of four and five of the past seven encounters with
the Blue Jackets overall and Columbus has claimed only two wins in seven trips
to the Steel City.
The Pens enter Friday riding a two-game winning streak, although the
consecutive victories over Carolina and Boston came on the heels of an 0-3-0
Pittsburgh used Jussi Jokinen's goal late in the third period to defeat the
visiting Bruins by a 3-2 score on Wednesday, exacting a measure of revenge
The Penguins were swept by Boston in the Eastern Conference finals last
season, but got goals from Chris Kunitz and Brandon Sutter, along with 21
saves from Marc-Andre Fleury to take the first meeting between the clubs this
"With the way things ended last year we knew what kind of team we were
playing," Sutter said. "They're a very good defensive team. That's a big
building block for us."
The win halted a two-game slide on home ice for Pittsburgh, which is 6-2-0 as
the host this season.
Columbus hopes to get back on track tonight after having a three-game winning
streak snapped Sunday against visiting Anaheim. Corey Perry's go-ahead goal
with 2:25 remaining helped the Ducks take the 4-3 road win over the Blue
Jackets, who had four days to rest before taking the ice tonight.
Artem Anisimov netted a pair of goals, while Blake Comeau also lit the lamp
for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots in defeat.
"We came out flat in the second period," Comeau said.
Bobrovsky is 5-3-1 with a 2.84 goals against average in nine career outings
against the Pens.
11/01 10:41:57 ET