Blue Jackets, playing well winning 2 of 3 and 3 of 5, finally plays division rival Pittsburgh Penguins tonight

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS VS. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

TV:  Bally Sports Ohio           Jeff Rimer (play-by-play), Jody Shelley (color analyst), Dave Maetzold (reporter)              
Radio:  97.1 The Fan              Bob McElligott (play-by-play), Dylan Tyrer (host)

THE MATCHUP

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

2021-22 Record: 18-18-1, 37 pts. (5th, Metropolitan Division)

Goals:  3.11 Goals-For/3.54 Goals-Against… Shots:  29.5 Shots-For/34.8 Shots-Against

Power Play:  15.6 percent (27th, NHL)… Penalty Kill:  78.9 percent (19th, NHL)

Penalty Minutes:  7.2 PIM (4th, NHL)… Overtime Record (Shootout):  7-0-1 (3-1)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

2021-22 Record: 24-10-5, 53 pts. (3rd, Metropolitan Division)

Goals:  3.33 Goals-For/2.56 Goals-Against… Shots:  34.7 Shots-For/30.2 Shots-Against

Power Play:  18.3 percent (20th, NHL)… Penalty Kill:  89.8 percent (2nd, NHL)

Penalty Minutes:  6.8 PIM (1st, NHL)… Overtime Record (Shootout):  4-1-4 (1-4)

Players to Watch:  LW Jake Guentzel ranks seventh-T in the NHL in goals with 21-18-39 in 33 games this season and was named to the NHL All-Star Game on Tuesday… D Kris Letang, who has a nine-game points streak (2-12-14), is third among NHL blueliners in assists and sixth in points with 3-31-34 in 35 appearances in 2021-22… G Tristan Jarry was named to the NHL All-Star Game and currently ranks second-T in the NHL in wins, third in GAA and fourth-T in SV% with a 20-7-4 record, 2.14 GAA and .927 SV% in 31 contests.

ALL-TIME SERIES

Results:  Columbus has gone 14-20-8 in 42 all-time meetings, including 10-7-4 at home… Of Note: The teams did not meet in 2020-21… Pittsburgh won 1-0 in overtime in the most recent meeting on Dec. 12, 2019… The Blue Jackets went 1-1-1 vs. the Penguins in 2019-20, picking up points in each of the last two meetings (1-0-1)… CBJ have won two straight vs. the Pens at Nationwide Arena and are 7-3-1 over the last 11 home games since Dec. 13, 2014… Six of the last 14 meetings have been decided after regulation (4-OT, 2-SO)… The winning team has scored three-plus goals in 15 of the last 17 games (including SO)… Pittsburgh owns all three shutouts in the series while Columbus has recorded three of the five hat tricks.

This Season (CBJ, 0-0-0)

Jan. 21, 2022 – at Columbus (7 p.m. ET)

Feb. 27, 2012 – at Columbus (6 p.m. ET)

Mar. 22, 2012 – at Pittsburgh (7 p.m. ET)

Apr. 29, 2022 – at Pittsburgh (7 p.m. ET)

CBJ TEAM NOTES

The Blue Jackets won for the second time in three games and third time in five with a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia on Thursday… The club returns to Nationwide Arena for a four-game homestand starting Friday and running through January 27.  Columbus is 11-6-1 at home this season… CBJ have scored three or more goals in 22 of their 37 games this season (16-6-0)… The club is also 14-2-0 when scoring four-plus goals in a game in 2021-22… CBJ conclude their fourth back-to-back set of the campaign vs. Pittsburgh on Friday.  The club is 3-4-0 in back-to-back situations this season (1-2-0 in second game)… Columbus leads the NHL in win percentage in OT/SO and ranks second-T in wins with a 7-0-1 record (.875)… The club’s three shootout victories are also tied for the second-most in the League… CBJ have trailed in 10 of their 18 victories this season and the club’s five wins when trailing heading into the third period are the most in the NHL… The Blue Jackets rank fourth in goals (22) and 10th in the NHL in points (88) by defensemen this season… Columbus killed off all four Flyers power play opportunities on Thursday and has killed off all opponent power play chances in four of the last five games (15-of-16; 93.8 pct.).

CBJ PLAYER NOTES

Jake Bean has collected three assists over the last three games and has already set career highs in goals, assists (tied), points and penalty minutes with 4-11-15 and 14 PIM in 36 appearances this season… RW Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied a goal on Thursday and has notched 3-1-4 in the last five games.  He leads the Blue Jackets in scoring with 12-15-27 in 35 contests in 2021-22… C Boone Jenner recorded the primary assist on both Blue Jackets goals on Thursday for his fifth multi-point effort of the campaign.  He has collected points in five consecutive contests (3-3-6), one game shy of tying his career long recorded Mar. 8-19, 2018 (5-3-8)… LW Patrik Laine tallied his team-leading third game-winning goal of the campaign on Thursday and now has points in 11 of his 18 appearances this season (6-8-14)… G Elvis Merzlikins turned aside 33-of-34 shots in a win on Thursday and is 2-1-0 with a 2.25 GAA and .938 SV% (75-of-80) in his last three starts… LW Gus Nyquist has recorded 5-5-10 with four multi-point outings in the last 10 games… D Andrew Peeke finished with a career-high 26:27 of ice time on Thursday, more than three minutes over his previous career high (23:16 on Dec. 5 vs. San Jose)… LW Eric Robinson has collected 3-7-10 in his last 15 games.  He has already set a career high in assist and is two from tying his career high in points (8-10-18 in 56 GP in 2020-21)… F Alexandre Texier has tallied 4-6-10 with three multi-point efforts in his last 11 games played and 9-9-18 in 24 games since November 4… D Zach Werenski was selected to his second NHL All-Star Game (2018) last Thursday.  He ranks third in the NHL in TOI/GP (26:24) and has played 25 or more minutes in 27 of his 35 games this season, including a game-high 29:58 on Thursday.

MILESTONES

•     GM Jarmo Kekalainen is 10 games from 700 for his NHL/CBJ career.

•     RW Oliver Bjorkstrand is five goals from 100 for his NHL career (95-109-204, 337 GP).

•     C Max Domi is two goals from 100 and six assists from 200 for his NHL career (98-194-292, 456 GP).

OhioHEALTH INJURY REPORT

•     F Justin Danforth (knee; Injured Reserve on Dec. 31) is expected to miss 6 weeks

•     G Daniil Tarasov (lower body; Injured Reserve on Jan. 4) is out indefinitely

•     F Cole Sillinger (COVID-19 protocol on Jan. 15)

•     D Adam Boqvist (COVID-19 protocol on Jan. 16)

•     D Vladislav Gavrikov (COVID-19 protocol on Jan. 17)

TOTAL MAN GAMES LOST: 124

COURTESY BLUE JACKETS COMMUNICATIONS

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