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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 9th (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (12-14-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (20-10-1), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets carry a lengthy shutout streak into Monday's game in Pittsburgh, but it could prove difficult to put up another zero against the high-scoring Penguins.

The Blue Jackets enter tonight's tilt at CONSOL Energy Center with a shutout streak of 137 minutes, 45 seconds, dating back to the third period of a 3-1 loss in Boston on Nov. 30. Columbus followed that setback against the Bruins with a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday before notching a 4-0 triumph Friday against Minnesota.

Columbus has posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time since Nov. 2010. The franchise record for shutout streaks is 199:19.

Curtis McElhinney has seen action in the last two shutout wins for Columbus, taking over for an injured Sergei Bobrovsky in the third period of the Tampa Bay game before stopping all 20 shots in a start against the Wild on Friday. With reigning Vezina Trophy winner Bobrovsky out for several weeks due to a groin strain, McElhinney is the de facto No. 1 netminder in Columbus with Mike McKenna serving as the backup.

"It felt great out there tonight," said McElhinney after Friday's win. "The guys did a real good job keeping them away from the front and did some hard work when we were killing penalties."

R.J. Umberger and Nick Foligno posted a goal and an assist against Minnesota, while Cam Atkinson and Boone Jenner also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have won three of four.

"It's been a good couple of games we've had here," said Umberger. "We've been putting a lot of hard work in practice, working on the power play and defense a lot and it's starting to pay off."

In addition to the Bobrovsky injury, the Blue Jackets are also currently without forwards Marian Gaborik (knee), Nathan Horton (shoulder) and Jared Boll (foot). Defenseman James Wisniewski joined the group of injured Columbus players after sustaining an upper-body injury in Friday's victory. Wisniewski is expected to miss at the least the next two games.

McElhinney expects to start again tonight and he'll face a Pittsburgh club that ranks sixth in the NHL in scoring with an average of 3.03 goals per game this season. The Pens also have dominated this series in recent years, taking three straight, five of six and seven of the last nine encounters with the Blue Jackets.

Pittsburgh, which boasts an impressive 12-3-0 mark in the Steel City this season, has won its last two home games against Columbus and is 6-2-0 all-time as the host in this series.

The Pens had won five straight before suffering a late collapse in Saturday's 3-2 regulation loss at Boston. The game also featured a couple of ugly incidents in the opening period, and one of them led to a suspension for Pittsburgh forward James Neal.

David Krejci and Zdeno Chara scored goals 1:16 apart late in regulation for the Bruins, giving Boston a 3-2 edge. Chara's tally with 13 seconds remaining handed the B's their first lead of the game. Neal and Chris Kunitz accounted for Pittsburgh's goals on Saturday, while Marc-Andre Fleury took the loss after making 18 saves.

Saturday's game, however, is likely to be remembered more for a pair of ugly incidents in the first period rather than the way it ended.

During a scrum which was created by a kneeing call to Neal against defenseless Boston winger Brad Marchand with 8:54 remaining in the first period, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton grabbed Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik from behind and punched him twice, the second time as the veteran blueliner was on the ice.

Medical personnel were immediately summoned, and the 33-year-old Pittsburgh blueliner was completely immobilized before being loaded onto a stretcher and taken away for evaluation. Following the game, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma reported that Orpik was out of the hospital and was able to travel back home with his teammates. He is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion and has been placed on injured reserve.

Neal, who has 10 goals and 10 assists this season, was suspended for five games Monday after having a phone hearing with the league. He won't be eligible to return to the lineup until Dec. 19, when Pittsburgh hosts the Minnesota Wild.

Thornton, meanwhile, drew a match penalty for his actions -- apparently in retribution for a clean but hard hit Orpik laid on Bruins forward Loui Eriksson early in the game. Thornton faces an in-person disciplinary hearing with the league, meaning he could face a suspension of greater than five games for his actions.

The Penguins played without Evgeni Malkin Saturday and the star forward is questionable for Monday's game with a lower-body injury, Malkin is second in the league to his teammate Sidney Crosby in scoring this season, registering 37 points on seven goals and 30 assists. Crosby is pacing the NHL with 42 points on 15 goals and 27 helpers.

12/09 13:02:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
Final
NYI 3
CAR 5
Final
DUKE 73
SYR 54
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
CHA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
UTA
 
Final
WAS 99
DET 95
Final
MIA 91
ATL 93
Final
NYK 103
TOR 98
Final
MIN 97
MEM 101
Final
DAL 94
BRK 104
Final
UTA 82
MIL 75
Final
PHO 74
SAN 101
1:00pm Today
CHI
LAC
 
3:30pm Today
HOU
CLE
 
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
CHA
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
GSW
 
6:00pm Tonight
IND
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
POR
 
6:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
 
Final
LIP 94
KNST 75
 
Final
GHND 47
NAVY 57
 
Final
LAF 74
ARMY 64
 
Final
AMER 69
BUCK 71
 
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
STJ 81
GEOR 70
Final
CLEM 70
GT 63
Final
COL 61
LEH 55
 
Final
FSU 59
LOU 81
Final
MD 66
MICH 56
Final
UGA 68
MIZZ 44
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
LAS 56
RIU 59
Final
UNH 65
MAINE 56
 
Final
IUPUI 80
NEOM 87
 
Final
WINT 80
PBY 53
 
Final
VMI 69
SAMF 80
 
Final
CITA 54
WCU 67
 
Final
DEP 53
BUT 67
Final
LONG 70
CAMP 65
 
Final
TULA 47
CIN 63
Final
VCU 55
DAY 59
Final
TOWS 60
DEL 65
 
Final
WMARY 66
DREX 80
 
Final
JVU 75
FLGC 67
 
Final
EVAN 67
ILLST 69
 
Final
BRAD 52
INDST 60
 
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
WICHS 74
NIOWA 60
Final
UWGB 83
OU 63
 
Final
LSU 73
MISS 63
Final
OKLA 67
TCU 60
Final
BING 76
UMBC 69
 
Final
AFA 60
UTST 74
Final
GTDNS 79
VERM 73
 
Final
XAV 66
VILL 78
Final
MNTER 74
WAGN 64
 
Final
ILLCH 61
WRST 46
 
Final
YALE 90
SARAHLAW 55
 
Final
UAB 100
MTST 95
Final
NDAK 65
SUTAH 71
 
Final
LIB 77
UNCA 95
 
Final
CHIST 65
WLVRN 44
 
Final
UMO 57
BGU 62
 
Final
SHU 84
LIU 73
 
Final
APP 66
LAMON 43
 
Final
VANDY 73
ALA 66
Final
KENT 84
ARK 67
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
Final
MRGST 77
COPST 88
 
Final
SHU 67
CREI 66
Final
BONA 92
DUQ 75
Final
MERC 69
ETST 64
 
Final
UMASS 82
FORD 74
Final
RAD 72
GWEBB 62
 
Final
JMU 82
HOF 73
 
Final
BU 70
HC 77
 
Final
KYST 70
ISU 69
Final
DELST 65
MDES 69
 
Final
LOYC 65
MIZST 51
 
Final
IDAHO 80
MNTST 73
 
Final
MCNST 83
NICST 78
 
Final
TTU 63
OKST 62
Final
PORT 66
SDU 78
 
Final
BRY 61
Terriers 51
 
Final
RMU 71
RFLSH 70
 
Final
UVA 69
VT 57
Final
BAY 78
WVU 66
Final
FUR 60
WOFF 62
 
Final
SILL 63
DRAK 57
 
Final
FD 73
CCST 66
 
Final
WMICH 80
EMICH 72
 
Final
CSOU 97
HIGH 93
 
Final
UNCG 58
CHAT 61
 
Final
SD 80
SDKST 64
 
Final
CARK 74
SELA 72
 
Final
KU 69
TEX 64
Final
EWASH 76
MONT 77
 
Final
TROY 64
UGST 75
 
Final
TXST 70
ARKST 60
 
Final
UNT 57
ODU 70
Final
CORN 45
DART 56
 
Final
NCAT 77
FAM 65
 
Final
PSU 77
IOWA 81
Final
MORE 87
JVST 55
 
Final
PEPP 65
LMU 49
 
Final
SCAR 81
MSST 68
Final
BRO 62
PRIN 80
 
Final
NEV 62
SJST 51
Final
SCST 57
SAV 68
 
Final
BEL 88
TENST 62
 
Final
UF 66
TENN 49
Final
ALAST 49
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SOUTH 71
ALCOR 63
 
Final
JST 73
MVSU 49
 
Final
SEMIZ 89
PEAY 65
 
Final
TOL 70
BST 59
 
Final
KSU 65
BUF 71
 
Final
LBSU 70
CSFU 47
 
Final
MARS 79
FATL 63
Final
STLU 50
GMAS 78
Final
DAVID 77
GWU 66
Final
CLMB 70
HARV 80
 
Final
LAM 79
INCWORD 66
 
Final
YOUNG 74
UWMIL 82
 
Final
ELON 74
UNCW 55
 
Final
ILL 86
NW 60
Final
YALE 55
PENN 50
 
Final
STJOE 57
RICH 63
Final
UNF 86
STET 71
 
Final
HART 59
USB 74
 
Final
DUKE 73
SYR 54
Final
EKENT 70
TENT 67
 
Final
LATU 76
TXSA 66
Final
NKENTUCKY 84
USCU 65
 
Final
MAST 84
WILL 64
 
Final
UMKC 70
GRCN 65
 
Final
NO 75
ABCHRIST 55
 
Final
TENNM 67
MURST 73
 
Final
HOW 67
HAMP 68
 
Final
ALAAM 72
PVU 75
 
Final
SDST 46
BSU 56
Final
NILL 73
CMICH 55
 
Final
RICE 76
CHAR 77
Final
ORU 60
DEN 57
 
Final
WKENT 77
FIU 61
8:00pm Saturday
TXPA 0
NMST 0
 
Final
COC 56
NE 65
 
Final
SCU 71
GAELS 70
 
Final
HOUB 87
STEPH 102
 
Final
SMISS 63
UTEP 60
Final
MEM 72
TULSA 74
Final
UNLV 69
WYO 57
Final
TXARL 82
ARKLR 73
 
Final
TEXAM 80
AUB 55
Final
LALAF 68
GSOUT 58
 
Final
ARKPB 66
GRAM 57
 
Final
TAMCC 61
SHSU 59
 
Final
UTAH 57
ARZ 63
Final
NCOL 76
NARZ 74
 
Final
GONZ 70
BYU 73
Final
WEBER 61
IDST 57
 
Final
FRES 59
NMU 55
Final
USF 65
PAC 55
 
Final
CPSL 56
UCD 66
 
Final
PORST 60
SACST 73
 
Final
SEAT 53
CALST 43
 
Final
CSNO 83
UCR 76
 
Final
USC 70
WASH 55
Final
UCSB 54
UCI 51
 
2:00pm Today
NIAG
FAIR
 
2:00pm Today
PETE
IONA
 
2:00pm Today
RIDE
MAR
 
2:00pm Today
MAN
QUIN
 
2:00pm Today
UCONN
SMU
 
3:00pm Today
CAL
ORST
 
3:00pm Today
HOU
SFLA
 
3:30pm Today
PROV
MARQ
 
4:00pm Today
WISC
MSU
 
4:30pm Today
MON
SIENA
 
6:30pm Tonight
WAKE
PITT
 
7:00pm Tonight
STAN
OREG
 
7:30pm Tonight
OSU
PURD
 
8:30pm Tonight
COL
ARST
 
9:30pm Tonight
UCLA
WASU
 
Final
FLA 5
BUF 3
Final
NAS 3
DET 4
Final
NYI 3
CAR 5
Final
CLB 0
NJD 2
Final
BOS 4
ARI 1
Final
MON 4
TOR 0
Final
PHI 4
NYR 2
Final
COL 1
MIN 3
Final
SJS 2
OTT 4
Final
EDM 1
STL 2
4:00pm Today
WIN
LOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
FLA
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
STL