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Penguins lock down home-ice advantage against Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 03: Phil Kessel #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is congratulated by teammates after scoring the game winning goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 3, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

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The Pittsburgh Penguins secured home-ice advantage against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

Pittsburgh will be the Metro’s second seed while Columbus comes in third. (Allows people to understandably grumble about two top teams meeting in the first round thanks to the divisive playoff format.)

The Penguins hobble into the postseason with some significant injuries, most obviously with Kris Letang out until next year and Evgeni Malkin hopeful to play. At least they get to open the postseason at home (and would get a Game 7 in Pittsburgh if necessary).

Pittsburgh won the only playoff meeting between the two teams, taking a 4-2 series back in 2013-14. It was an entertaining, contentious series that may serve as a solid preview of what could come this time around, even with a superior cast of characters.