Columbus is last in the league in goals with 92 and is the
only team with less than 100. The Blue Jackets are 14th in
the Western Conference in wins (13) and points (28), leading
only St. Louis in both categories.
Defenseman Bryan Berard recorded his first career hat trick
and Sergei Fedorov tied a career high with four assists as
Columbus scored a season-high in goals in Sunday's 5-2
victory over Phoenix .
Rick Nash's return from ankle and knee injuries has given
the Blue Jackets a much-needed boost. He has nine goals in
his last 11 games and helped lead Columbus to a 4-2-1 mark
in its last seven contests.
While Columbus has struggled to score, Pittsburgh has had
problems on defense. The Penguins have yielded a league-high
165 goals and own the fewest wins (11) in the Eastern
Ryan Malone scored his eighth goal for Pittsburgh, which
suffered its third straight defeat in Tuesday's 3-1 loss to
Edmonton. The Penguins are 3-5-3 since Michel Therrien
replaced Ed Olczyk as coach.
The teams have not faced each other since Pittsburgh posted a
5-3 win over Columbus on December 13, 2003. This is their
only encounter this season.