Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Penguins take big step in earning home-ice advantage over 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)

Getty Images

(Note: this is under the fairly safe assumption that the Washington Capitals will win the division.)

If things don’t change drastically during the rest of the week - and they could - then the Pittsburgh Penguins earned home-ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the best way you could ask for.

They did so in a direct manner: by beating the Blue Jackets 4-1 on Tuesday.

There was an if there, mind you. This win increases Pittsburgh’s edge for the Metro Division’s second spot to three points. Let’s take a quick look at the road ahead for each team.

Penguins: 109 points, three games remaining, 45 ROW

Thursday: at Devils
Saturday: at Maple Leafs
Sunday: at Rangers

Blue Jackets: 106 points, three games remaining, 47 ROW

Thursday: vs. Jets
Saturday: at Flyers
Sunday: at Maple Leafs

So, yes, the Blue Jackets could still pass the Penguins and take the second spot (and thus a round of home-ice) in the Metro. Still, this was a significant swing in Pittsburgh’s favor, especially since the win came in regulation.

In a dream scenario for the Penguins, the injury-ravaged team might even make like the Rangers on Sunday and rest some tired players.

Right now, this is merely a nice win for the Pens, with some confidence-boosting moments.

The Blue Jackets? Well, they might have some soul-searching to do after dropping four straight games, with tonight’s being arguably the biggest.