Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Monday, December 9th, 2013, 7:30 PM
CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Well if there ever was a perfect time to run into the Pittsburgh Penguins it is now. The Jackets finally got consecutive wins with their 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday. That win broke the win one – lose one cycle that Columbus had been on throughout the month of November. Despite losing Sergei Bobrovsky in their previous game against Tampa Bay, Curtis McElhinney stood strong for the Jackets and got the shut out in his first game as the starter.
After two days off, the Jackets travel to the CONSOL Energy Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Originally hoped to be a new rivalry partner for the Jackets, the Penguins have had the Jackets number so far this season. Pittsburgh swept Columbus in a home and home series back at the beginning of November. That Columbus team was just entering a month long decline, whereas the Jackets coming into tonight’s game are re-energized and confident.
Columbus also seems to be handling their success better, as they did not use the two day break to rest on their laurels. Sunday’s practice was up-temp and the team worked on mistakes made in the last two wins. This is not a team that thinks they are simply going to walk into Pittsburgh and exit with a win. It will take the effort of both the Wild and Lightning games combined to take down the Metropolitan Division leaders.
Pittsburgh is coming off a rough loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday. The game was marked by player on player violence, with Brooks Orpik being attacked by Shawn Thornton, as well as James Neal kneeing Brad Marchand in the head. Due to the Thronton incident, Orpik is out indefinitely for the Penguins. The loss to Boston ended a five game Pittsburgh winning streak.
Tonight can be a defining game for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Getting the consecutive win against the Wild felt good, but beating your rival in Pittsburgh, on the NBC Sports Network, now that would be truly amazing.
Hit Next to take a look at some stats for tonight’s game, as well as some game notes and the Union and Blue Song For the Game!