The Columbus Blue Jackets are in dire straits, embarking tonight on a stretch where they’ll face playoff-positioned teams in seven consecutive games. And while Sergei Bobrovsky played an outstanding game last time out, the Blue Jackets will turn elsewhere in net tonight.
Joonas Korpisalo, who has a .897 save percentage this season in 22 games played, will get the nod in net tonight over Bobrovsky and the recently-acquired Keith Kinkaid, marking his first start since February 18 against Tampa Bay, a game in which he saved just 15 of 20 shots against.
This marks Korpisalo’s second start this season against Pittsburgh. The 24-year-old Finn was also in net for the Blue Jackets’ 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh back in November. While that isn’t exactly encouraging, Bobrovsky’s last outing against Pittsburgh wasn’t any better, as he also let in four goals a couple of weeks back in a 5-2 loss to the Penguins. As a team, Columbus has dropped seven straight against Pittsburgh.
According to coach John Tortorella, the decision wasn’t made based on Bobrovsky’s struggles over the years against Crosby and company.
— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) March 7, 2019
To that end, Bobrovsky won’t even be on the bench tonight. Instead, it’ll be Kinkaid who gets the role of backup tonight. If he does see his first action as a Blue Jacket tonight, it’ll mean things have gone south, but he does sport a 6-3-2 career record against Pittsburgh.
As for other lineup changes, Riley Nash will draw in for Markus Hannikainen on the team’s fourth line, likely making a veteran-heavy line that will attempt to give Korpisalo some help in shutting down the Penguins. Adam McQuaid is back in the lineup as well, replacing Dean Kukan.
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