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The End, Penguins Game 82: Lines, Starting Goalies & How to Watch vs. CBJ



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Columbus Blue Jackets

As Jim Morison sang, this is the end, (their) only friend. The end. The Pittsburgh Penguins (40-31-10) will not be in the playoffs for the first time since 2006 after a season of inconsistency, flat performances, soft goaltending, and egregious defensive zone mistakes. When the New York Islanders beat the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night, the Penguins were mathematically eliminated. The end comes Thursday at Nationwide Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets (24-47-9).

Coach Mike Sullivan said he would make lineup decisions based on the situation, so we could see significant lineup changes with varying reasons aside from winning.

Sullivan confirmed after the morning skate that defenseman Marcus Pettersson and Drew O’Connor will play.

The Penguins’ locker room held out hope Wednesday afternoon. However, they admitted they squandered a golden chance against the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday. With their season on the line, the Penguins lost to Chicago, who was tied for the worst record in the NHL, 5-2.

The Penguins tied the game 1-1 with Evgeni Malkin’s power-play goal earlier in the third period, but mistakes and a soft goal allowed by Tristan Jarry put the Penguins in a 3-1 hole soon after.

The Penguins have 60 more minutes of hockey remaining this season. Brian Dumoulin, Jason Zucker, and Tristan Jarry are notable free agents. Otherwise, almost the entirety of the roster is under contract or control for next season.

Columbus is “battling” for the worst record in the NHL and the best chance to win the NHL draft lottery. The prize is phenom Connor Bedard, who scored 143 points in 57 games this season for the WHL’s Regina Pats.

The Penguins’ final place in the league standings is not yet set. Currently, they are set to draft 14th-16th, with about a .5% chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery and moving up 10 places (they cannot win the top pick).

Jarry is the starter for the Penguins. Michael Hutchinson is the confirmed starter for the Blue Jackets.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

Guentzel — Crosby — Rust

Zucker — Malkin – Rakell

Heinen – Poehling – Granlund

O’Connor – Carter – Archibald


Dumoulin – Letang

Pettersson – Petry

Joseph – Rutta


Casey DeSmith (Unconfirmed)

Expected Columbus Blue Jackets Lines, per DailyFaceOff:

Gaudreau – Kuraly – Marchenko

Johnson – Roslovic – Foudy

Luoto – McKown – Bemstrom

Pyythia – Angle – Knazko


Bayreuther – Peeke

Berni – Boqvist

Svozil – Sweezey


Michael Hutchinson

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:

The Penguins have won eight-straight games against the Blue Jackets dating back to Dec. 12, 2019.

The Penguins are 18-3-1 in its last 22 games against Columbus, dating back to Feb. 3, 2017.

Sidney Crosby has 51 points (17-34-51) in 37 career games against the Blue Jackets. Only Patrick Kane (78) has more points against Columbus than Crosby among active players.

Tristan Jarry is 6-1-0 in his career versus Columbus with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.

Jake Guentzel leads the Penguins with 35 goals (35-36-71) in 75 games this season. He’s looking to become just the eighth player in franchise history to lead the team in goals in three separate seasons.

How to Watch:

TV: AT&T Sportsnet; Radio: 105.9 The X

Penguins Bets:

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