Game Preview (Preseason #8): Blue Jackets Stage One for the Road with a Final Tune-Up at Pittsburgh

By Jeff Svoboda on September 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm
It's Jackets-Penguins again
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jackets at Penguins

4 p.m., PPG Paints Arena

TV/Stream:, NHL Network

And then there was one.

With less than one week – how exciting, right?! – until the season opener Friday vs. the New York Islanders, the Blue Jackets finish the preseason slate tonight with a trip to take on rival Pittsburgh in the Steel City.

They likely won't grab Primanti's, crack any Yuenglings or stop at Sheetz, but the Blue Jackets to have a chance tonight to end the preseason on a high note against the defending Cup champs.

The team that takes the ice this afternoon is very close to the team we'll see in Nationwide on Friday, so it's safe to say this is almost go time.


According to the club, the Blue Jackets likely will align accordingly:

Left wing center right wing
Artemi Panarin Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Sonny Milano Nick Foligno Oliver Bjorkstrand
Pierre-Luc Dubois Brandon Dubinsky Matt Calvert
Markus Hannikainen Lukas Sedlak Zac Dalpe
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Gabriel Carlsson

Goaltenders: Sergei Bobrovsky, Joonas Korpisalo

What to Watch For

An informal viewing guide, if you will, for tonight's game:

  • Dubi, Dubi does: Brandon Dubinsky makes his preseason debut today after missing the first seven games with a wrist injury. If you're going to have a guy come to camp nursing an injury, this is perhaps the best way to have it go. Sure, he missed most of the exhibition slate, but stepping into the lineup shows he's close to being ready to go, and at least some rust will get knocked off tonight before the season opener.
  • This it it? The team the Blue Jackets will bring home for the opener vs. the Islanders is pretty much what fans will see in Nationwide Arena on Friday night. There are just a few battles to be decided near the bottom of the lineup, but this is mostly a chance for players to get comfortable in the roles they'll fill when the real lights go on.
  • Pittsburgh again: It's fair to say there's no love lost between Columbus and Pittsburgh, especially on the Blue Jackets' end. No one will want to see anything crazy happen with the season starting in mere days, but at the same time, these are teams that have played a lot of hockey against one another. Where will the intensity level reside? ​

"It's a long camp. This will be our eighth preseason game. They sense the team is here now. There's not a lot of bodies around except the NHL team. They know it's getting close, and I thought they practiced well. I thought they were loose. The most impressive part of the game to me (vs. Nashville) was our pace. Both teams played with pace. They feel good. They know this stuff is coming to an end and the real stuff is starting soon." – John Tortorella

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