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Friday, March 28th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (46-22-5) at Columbus Blue Jackets (37-29-6), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets hope that they are catching the Pittsburgh Penguins at the right time.

Their playoff chances may depend on it.

The Blue Jackets hope to beat the struggling Penguins for the first time in five meetings this season as the clubs square off on Friday night at Nationwide Arena.

Columbus has been outscored 14-6 by Pittsburgh this season and has lost five straight and nine of the previous 11 meetings overall. That includes a four- game slide at home, where the Blue Jackets have not beaten the Pens since a shootout win on March 12, 2009.

However, the Penguins come in trying to avoid their first four-game slide of the season after a 3-2 setback to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. The loss prevented Pittsburgh from securing a playoff spot as it needed to notch just one point.

Taylor Pyatt and Chris Kunitz scored for Pittsburgh, but Los Angeles got the winner from Drew Doughty early in the third period. Backup Jeff Zatkoff made 29 saves in the Penguins' sixth loss in eight games, though they still lead the Metropolitan Division by 11 points over the New York Rangers.

The Penguins also thought they tied the game at the 9:41 mark of the third period, but a video review showed that Pittsburgh's Brandon Sutter pushed L.A. goaltender Martin Jones' pad and the puck into the net, impeding Jones' ability to play his position.

"I was pretty surprised," Sutter said. "I just thought the puck came through the crease and I was just trying to jam away at it and it was loose the whole time. I definitely got pushed into the net and the puck went off of me somehow.

"I have no idea how they didn't call it a goal."

Having recently lost center Evgeni Malkin to a foot injury, the Penguins also saw pivot Marcel Goc exit last night's game in the final minute of the second period with a lower-body injury after he crashed into the boards following a collision.

While Pittsburgh can afford a slump given its advantage atop the division, Columbus has no such luxury. The Blue Jackets are one of four teams tied for the two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference with 80 points, joined by the Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The good news for the Blue Jackets is they own one of the current tiebreakers, having played the fewest games. They have 10 games remaining on the schedule, while the Red Wings and Capitals both have nine left. The Maple Leafs have just eight contests remaining and visit the Philadelphia Flyers tonight.

The Blue Jackets could, however, be without No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky tonight. He exited Tuesday's 4-2 victory over the Red Wings after one period due to illness and was unable to practice on Thursday.

Curtis McElhinney relieved Bobrovsky and made 22 saves versus the Red Wings, while Ryan Johansen scored twice and both Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky added goals.

"He was great, coming in a tough situation in a huge game," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards about McElhinney. "They pushed - you have to give Detroit a lot of credit for how they played. They had some opportunities and Curtis made some huge saves for us, and he looked calm. In a big, high-pressured game, he looked very calm."

The Blue Jackets had lost four of six going into Tuesday's game.

If Bobrovsky can't play tonight, Mike McKenna would serve as the backup to McElhinney, who is 0-3-0 with a 2.84 goals against average lifetime versus the Penguins.

Bobrovsky is 5-4-1 with a 3.05 GAA in his career when facing the Penguins, who are likely to start No. 1 Marc-Andre Fleury in this game. Fleury is 5-1-1 with a 2.33 GAA in his career versus the Jackets.

03/28 10:48:56 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
 
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAN
SIENA
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
 
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
EDM 3
BUF 2
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI