Thursday 21st December 2017

Event of the day

Our event of the day is the NHL match between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, the reigning NHL champions, are only tenth in the Eastern Conference with 37 points from 35 games, and sit just out side of the wild card playoff spots. Columbus sit five places above them in fifth position and in the playoff spots, with 43 points from 35 games. The Penguins play their first home match after three games on the road, their last been a 4-2 loss at the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. For the Blue Jackets, this game will be a quick turnaround after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 last night at home, previously they had suffered two tough defeats on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes (2-1) and the Boston Bruins (7-2).
This is the first duel of these rivals from the Metropolitan Division in the current NHL season. Pittsburgh are the team with the most shots made per game in the entire NHL with an average of 34.91 per game. Right winger Phil Kessel leads the side with 38 points (15 goals and 23 assists), while captain and centre Sidney Crosby has recorded 33 points whilst centre Evgeni Malkin has 31 points. Standout men at the Blue Jackets are left winger Artemi Panarin with 28 points which includes 21 assists, and the goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with four shutouts this season which is the league’s most. It should be a thrilling faceoff on the ice of the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Big Bash League match between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Melbourne Renegades at the Blundstone Arena in Bellerive, Tasmania. This is the first game of the new season for both sides of the Big Bash - the first two games delivered two home wins, the Sydney Thunder over the Sydney Sixers by five wickets and for the Brisbane Heat over the Melbourne Stars by 15 runs. In the NBA, the Utah Jazz welcome the San Antonio Spurs to the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. The PDC World Darts Championship continues at Alexandra Palace in London. In football, there’s a La Liga clash between Eibar and Girona at the Ipura Municipal Stadium in Eibar.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NHL

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