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Get your game notes: Jackets at Penguins

Apr 16, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

Penguins Blue Jackets Hockey AP

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• This marks the first-ever postseason meeting of the Blue Jackets and Penguins, two teams separated by 185 miles. Columbus, which set franchise highs in wins (43) and points (93) in its first season in the Eastern Conference, is making only its second postseason appearance since joining the NHL in 2000-01. The Jackets were swept in four games by Detroit in the Western Conference Quarterfinals in their only other appearance, in 2008-09. The three players remaining from that playoff roster are forwards R.J. Umberger and Jared Boll, and defenseman Fedor Tyutin. Pittsburgh eventually hoisted the Stanley Cup that season, beating the Red Wings in seven games in the Final.

• This season, the Blue Jackets lost all five games vs. the Penguins in regulation and were outscored 16-7. The last time a team took zero points in a regular-season series (minimum: four games) and upset that team in the playoffs was Carolina vs. Boston in the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals. During the 2008-09 season, the Hurricanes did not earn a point in four regular-season matchups with the Bruins. However, they rebounded to turn away the Bruins in seven games. Elias Sports Bureau

• Penguins captain Sidney Crosby captured his second career (2006-07) Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring champion, with 104 points in 80 games. Those were Crosby’s highest points and games-played totals since the 2009-10 season (109 points in 81 games). In the 60 games in which he registered points the Penguins went 47-8-5. In the 30 games in which he registered two or more points, they went 28-0-2.

• Crosby reached the 100-point milestone for the fifth time in his career and became the fourth player in Penguins history to earn multiple Art Ross Trophies, following Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux (6), Jaromir Jagr (5) and Evgeni Malkin (2). Malkin, who missed 22 games this season (including the last 11 with a foot injury), still managed to finish 15th in the NHL in scoring (23-49–72). After participating in his first full practice since the March 23 injury on Tuesday, the 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is expected to play in Game 1.

• From the first period of their game vs. Dallas on Mar. 4 through Mar. 23, the Blue Jackets endured a zero-for-37 (0.0%) power-play drought over eight+ games. However, from Mar. 25 until the end of the regular season, they went 13-for-36 (36.1%) with the man advantage. In those 11 games, nine different players scored a PPG, led by center Ryan Johansen (three).

• On Apr. 14, the Penguins recalled veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun from a conditioning assignment at their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Vokoun missed the entire 2013-14 regular season after undergoing emergency surgery to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis in September. Last season, the 37-year-old goalie replaced an ineffective Marc-Andre Fleury (2-2, 3.52 GAA, .883 save%) during the playoffs and went 6-5 with a 2.01 GAA and .933 save percentage, helping the Pens reach the Eastern Conference Final.

• This season, the Penguins lost an NHL-high 527 man-games to injury. (Only one player, forward Craig Adams, appeared in all 82 games.) Since 2009-10, five teams have reported 350 or more man-games lost during a season and made the playoffs. Two of them, Pittsburgh and Detroit, have come this year.

  1. montrealbbr - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    I dont think the Jackets have a chance at all to win this. Not only does Pittsburgh have more skill but they play dirty. So if anyone on Columbus starts to get hot you can expect Orpik or Neal to lay them out.

    • runhigh24 - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      This perfectly illustrates the hypocrisy among many of the Penguins critics. They say Neal needs to clean up his game and play within the rules, which he does needs to do. But then they criticize Orpik for deliving perfectly legal bodychecks as per league rules.

    • miketoasty - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      This coming from a Habs fan. Have you actually watched Subban when he plays?

  2. dboldave - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I cant remember Subban ever hurting anyone. Sorry but the Penguins are dirty and if you dont agree then you are clearly just a homer.

    • miketoasty - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      He averages at least a slew foot per game against the Pens, I know that for sure.

    • jaybaileys - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      guess you forgot about his slice of Staals foot a few years ago.

    • hockey412 - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      I am clearly a homer. A good barometer for foul play is, and has always been, penalties. Pens are tenth this year in PIM/G, which isn’t great, but surely doesn’t indicate that they are one of the dirtier teams in the league.

      Lots of injuries in this league – Pens didn’t cause all of them. Actually Neal hasn’t caused many of them – he’s an idiot, and a cheap-shot artist…but he’s not the only one in the league. I’d love to know which team you’ll be cheering on…chances are, your hands are far from clean. Which is it?

      • dboldave - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        I was just stirring up the pot!

      • hockey412 - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        Well played, sir.

  3. 2qswing - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Bob only played against Pitt once this year, a 2-1 Bluejacket loss.

    • dirt2013 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      I believe he gave up 3 goals before he was pulled 13 min. into the game. They never put him in against the Pens the rest of the year. Something less than a force.

  4. watchfullhose - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Bobrovsky is on the case. He’s the best cop in the force. Jackets in 5!

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