Three Things From the Blue Jackets' 3-2 Loss To the Penguins: Can't Win In PITT, Winless Roadtrip, and Cole Sillinger Scores

By Coby Maeir on March 29, 2024 at 8:15 am
Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Kirill Marchenko (86) and center Alexandre Texier (42) congratulate center Cole Sillinger (right) on his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG Paints Arena.
© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets lost to the Penguins 3-2 on Thursday in Pittsburgh, falling to 23-38-12.

Mathieu Olivier and Cole Sillinger scored the goals for the Blue Jackets, while Evgeni Malkin scored two power-play goals for Pittsburgh, and Drew O'Connor scored the game-winner at 35 seconds of the third period.

The Blue Jackets are in 29th in the league standings with nine games remaining in the season. With 58 points, the Jackets are six points ahead of the 30th-placed Ducks and nine points behind the 27th-placed Coyotes. 

Here are three things from Thursday's game:

Can't Win In Pitt

The Blue Jackets haven't beaten the Penguins in Pittsburgh since Nov. 13, 2015, going 0-10-5 since then. 

The last time the Blue Jackets won in Pittsburgh, they defeated the Penguins 2-1 with goals by Scott Hartnell and Brandon Saad. The assists went to Saad, Cody Goloubef, Ryan Murray, and Nick Foligno. Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves in the win.

In 27 meetings, Columbus' record in Pittsburgh is 4-18-5. Not great.

Winless Road Trip

The Blue Jackets went 0-4-1 on their five-game trip despite scoring the first goal in every game. They were outscored 23-10 and outshot 195-127. In addition to their loss on Mar. 17, the Blue Jackets have now lost six straight games and they are currently in their seventh losing streak of at least three games this season. 

Their schedule doesn't get any easier, either. In their final nine games, they are home vs. Pittsburgh, Colorado, Philadelphia, and Carolina, and on the road against Carolina, Tampa, Florida, and Nashville. 

Can they win another game before the season ends?

Sillinger on the board

After going nine games without a point and 12 games without a goal, Sillinger recorded a goal and an assist on Thursday, posting his fourth multi-point game of the season. 2023-24 has been much kinder to Sillinger than 2022-23, as the third-year center has posted 12-15--27 in 68 games this year after recording 3-8--11 in 2022-23. 

It's been a promising bounce-back season for Sillinger, who is a key piece of this team's rebuild.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets host the Penguins on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio.


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