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A preview of what's to come

April 5, 2018, 2:17 PM ET [160 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Big game this evening. Home-ice advantage won't be decided tonight, but it will go a long way in deciding it. The Penguins and Blue Jackets will meet for the last time in the regular season. They more than likely will not have to wait long to play each other again. The Hockeyviz probabilities have the two teams at 56% to meet in round one.

Columbus has been one of the better teams in the division down the stretch along with the Penguins



This won't be a cake walk for the Penguins and I don't think I see anybody stating otherwise. This is the kind of matchup Gary Bettman wanted with the divisional series matchup. Two teams that don't like one another battling it out in the playoffs on a semi-consistent basis.

The Penguins had an optional skate today and the noteworthy items from that skate are that Matt Murray was the first goaltender off and Derick Brassard was nowhere to be found. It is certainly looking like the next game Brassard plays will be in the playoffs and perhaps after missing a playoff game. Fortunately, the Penguins can deploy Riley Sheahan in a third line center role which is a nice band aid for the occasion. Sheahan has a 1.81 5v5 points per 60 according to Natural Stat Trick and that is great number to have on the depth chart supporting Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. When Brassard returns the Penguins will have another great 4th line center option in Sheahan. He is right on par with what Matt Cullen brought.

The Penguins have had a recent history of resting players in the final game before the playoffs. If they win tonight this might be the last game for Sid and Geno of the regular season. If that is the path taken Geno is going to need a monster four point night to hit the 100 point mark for the fourth time in his illustrious career.

If you want to take some time down memory lane and the ridiculous cast of linemates Sidney Crosby has had this podcast is for you




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