Columbus-Pittsburgh highlights Friday slate

Columbus-Pittsburgh highlights Friday slate

The last time Columbus and Pittsburgh met, John Tortorella’s troops rolled to a 7-1 victory. Can the Penguins put up further resistance tonight?

Washington’s main challengers in the Metropolitan Division will drop the puck at 7 p.m. ET in the Steel City. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Sidney Crosby & Co. odds of -155 to take care of business at home. Conversely, the Blue Jackets enter PPG Paints Arena as +135 underdogs.

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Much has changed for the Pens since the aforementioned walloping on Dec. 22. In fact, the reigning Stanley Cup champions have gone 10-5 in their past 15 games, fighting through injuries to key contributors like Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. More good news is on the way, too, as versatile veteran forward Matt Cullen looks primed to return from a multi-week absence.

Still, Pittsburgh sits three points behind second-place Columbus for second place in the Metro race. The Blue Jackets came out of the All-Star break on Tuesday with a 6-4 triumph over the Rangers. Seth Jones potted a pair of goals, while captain Nick Foligno added his 18th marker of the campaign.

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Afterward, Tortorella did express displeasure with his club’s defensive effort. And, truth be told, netminder Sergei Bobrovsky’s struggling to perform up to his usual standards. Therefore, we anticipate a high-octane shootout shortly.

FRIDAY NHL FREE PICK: BLUE JACKETS/PENGUINS OVER 6 GOALS

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