Plenty to praise as Penguins take 1st of back-to-back games vs. Blue Jackets |
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Tim Benz

In the most important stretch of the season, the Penguins are starting to get hot.

Thursday night, they won the first of two crucial games against the Blue Jackets, with a return match coming Saturday in Columbus.

The Penguins blanked the Blue Jackets, 3-0. And a lot went right along the way.

Matt Murray pitched a shutout. Phil Kessel finally scored. The banged-up defense held its own again. Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann continued to mesh with their new teammates. And Mike Sullivan’s team continued its mastery of Columbus.

LISTEN: Plenty to praise as Penguins take 1st of 2 against Blue Jackets

That’s eight straight wins for the Penguins over their neighbors down I-70. The victory propelled Pittsburgh into third place of the Metro Division. That’s two points clear of the two wild-card teams: Carolina and Montreal.

The team is four points in front of the slumping Blue Jackets, who have lost four of six. Meanwhile the Penguins have won four of five.

Our Penguins beat writer, Jonathan Bombulie, joined me at PPG Paints Arena to wrap it up in our podcast.

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