The fact that the Blue Jackets have pushed the Penguins to a sixth game in their first round series is an accomplishment. That doesn’t mean they’re satisfied.
After Pittsburgh took a 3-2 series lead with a 3-1 victory on Saturday, the Blue Jackets want to force a Game 7.
“This is how series go,” Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger told the Columbus Dispatch. “One team makes a statement, the other team responds to it.
“I know we’re going to have a response. That’s the kind of team we’ve been all season.”
Umberger won’t be on hand to make good on his statement though. He’s out with a suspected shoulder/collarbone injury. Defenseman Nikita Nikitin will also sit in favor of Nick Schultz.
Columbus isn’t the only team that will be at less than 100%. Pittsburgh will probably have to get by without defenseman Brooks Orpik.
The question tonight is if either squad is capable of protecting an early lead. The team that scores first is 0-5 in this series.
The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET and will air on NBCSN. You can also stream it online:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Get your game notes: Penguins at Blue Jackets
Bobrovsky ‘stands tall,’ but Blue Jackets can’t take advantage
Fleury: Pens fans gave him a boost (and goosebumps)
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”