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Penguins at Blue Jackets Preview: Closing Time

For the first time in 17 seasons, the Penguins will miss the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Penguins Bryan Rust vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images.

There's not much to say ahead of this one except the Penguins are in the extraordinarily strange place of ending a season in mid-April. With the New York Islanders winning over the Montreal Canadiens last night the Pittsburgh Penguins have been officially eliminated from a chance to play in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the first time in 17 years, they will not be see playoff hockey. Their season is over.


And they still have one more, now meaningless game to play with that knowledge in mind.


It's going to be a long night. But this temporary discomfort will hopefully spark the renewal of this franchise with the change it brings. We have more early buzz about that in our "Penguins Update" below.


Game Info:

Pens Game #82: Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets

Date: April 13, 2023

Time: 7 PM (ET)

Place: Columbus, OH

Venue: Nationwide Arena

Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #CBJ


Broadcast Info:

Penguins Broadcast: AT&T Sportsnet

Blue Jackets Broadcast: Bally Sports Ohio

Online Stream: ESPN+

Penguins Radio: 105.9 The X/Penguins Radio Network

Blue Jackets Radio: 97.1 The Fan


Team Matchup:

Records- PIT: 40-31-10, CBJ: 24-47-9

Last 10- PIT: 5-5-0, CBJ: 2-6-2

Streaks- PIT: 1 Loss, CBJ: 4 Losses

Standings- PIT: 19th, CBJ: 32nd

Points- PIT: 90, CBJ: 57

Playoff Positions-

PIT: Officially eliminated.

CBJ: Officially eliminated.

Season Series- 3-0 PIT

Series Goals For- PIT: 15, CBJ: 8


Team Analytics Comparison:

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets analytics chart
Analytics by JFresh Hockey.

Goalie Matchup:

Projected starting goalies:

-Tristan Jarry- #35

[Pittsburgh Penguins]

Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs. DOB: 4/29/1995 (27). From: Surrey, BC.

Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT). Experience: 7th Season.

Record: 24-13-6, 2.90 GAA, .909 SV%

Career vs. CBJ: 6-1-0, 2.13 GAA, .928 SV%

🆚

-Michael Hutchinson- #31

[Columbus Blue Jackets]

Bio Info: 6' 3", 198 lbs. DOB: 3/2/1990 (33). From: Barrie, ON.

Drafted: 2008: Rd 3, Pk 77 (BOS). Experience: 9th Season.

Record: 1-6-3, 4.45 GAA, .871 SV%

Career vs. PIT: 0-1-1, 5.11 GAA, .873 SV%


Penguins Update:

It all sucks right now but trust in the Big Three for the future like always. The Pens will be back and better with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang at the helm. Guaranteed.


Numerous reports both locally and nationally have surfaced today that say major changes are indeed on the horizon for the Pittsburgh Penguins due to this situation. Grab the popcorn because it's about to get interesting:



NEXT UP: A very busy offseason seems probable after this playoff miss, here are several events we should expect to see in the upcoming months:

-With any luck, some firings of management and perhaps even coaches could be made within the next week.

-A new General Manager hiring is likely to be in place by the draft in late June. The Penguins may have to bide their time as many GM candidates are still in the playoffs with other teams. (Particularly Colorado and Tampa's staffers.)

-Player locker room clean-out day & final press meetings will likely be this weekend or next Monday. (Stay tuned after tonight’s game when some word is expected on that over on our Twitter @PensReport )

-The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next Tuesday on April 17th, with numerous Pens alumni involved including Marc-Andre Fleury, Phil Kessel, Jared McCann, Brandon Tanev, Evan Rodrigues, Matt Murray, Patric Hornqvist, and Jordan Staal. We’ll keep an eye on those as they proceed.

-The Stanley Cup Finals are scheduled to start on June 3rd, 2023.

-The 2023 NHL Awards where Kris Letang is a candidate to win the Masterton trophy will take place on June 26, 2023 in Nashville.

-The NHL Draft follows that on June 28-29th, 2023.

-2023 Free agency begins on July 1, 2023 at noon.

-Penguins development camp usually follows shortly after the draft in early July, but upcoming management changes might affect that event.


-Injury Report-

-Nick Bonino (F): LTIR, lacerated kidney, out indefinitely.


-Pens Lines-

The projected Penguins lines for Thursday, April 13, 2023, at the Columbus Blue Jackets:


(Forwards)

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell

Drew O’Connor - Ryan Poehling - Mikael Granlund

Danton Heinen - Jeff Carter - Josh Archibald


(Defense)

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson - Jeff Petry

P.O. Joseph - Jan Rutta


(Special Teams)

PP1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Rakell, Guentzel

PP2: Petry, Zucker, Rust, Granlund, Carter

PK1: Poehling, Rust, Dumoulin, Petry

PK2: Granlund, Archibald, Ruhwedel, Letang


Blue Jackets Update:

The Jackets fell to dead last in the standings with Chicago's recent win over the Pens. Columbus now holds the highest odds of winning the #1 overall draft pick for the big Connor Bedard draft on June 23rd. Landing that generational player would be a game-changer for their franchise.


-Trade Deadline Movements-

Key players added: Goalies- Jon Gillies, Michael Hutchinson.

Key players lost: Forward- Gustav Nyquist, Jakub Voracek. Defenseman- Vladislav Gavrikov. Goalie- Joonas Korpisalo.

-Injury Report-

-Jake Bean (D): IR, shoulder, out for the season.

-Nick Blankenburg (D): ankle, out week-to-week/season.

-Justin Danforth (F): IR, shoulder, out for the season.

-Erik Gudbranson (D): shoulder, out for the season.

-Boone Jenner (F): upper body, day-to-day.

-Patrik Laine (F): triceps, out week-to-week/season.

-Elvis Merzlikins (G): leg, out indefinitely.

-Mathieu Olivier (F): leg, out week-to-week/season.

-Lane Pederson (F): upper body, day-to-day.

-Eric Robinson (F): upper body, day-to-day.

-Zach Werenski (D): shoulder, out for the season.


For The Penguins: Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin. The boys can’t be taking not seeing the playoffs well after the stellar performances both had this season. This is unfamiliar and unwanted territory for the fiercely competitive and emotionally charged duo. I expect an emphatic statement performance from our fearless leaders in response to it.


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