Pittsburgh visits Columbus after Malkin’s 2-goal game

Pittsburgh Penguins (40-23-6, third in the Metropolitan Division) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-15, fifth in the Metropolitan Division)

Columbus, Ohio; Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: Pittsburgh visits the Columbus Blue Jackets after Evgeni Malkin scored two goals in the Penguins’ 5-2 victory against the Devils.

The Blue Jackets are 10-7-5 against Metropolitan Division opponents. Columbus averages just 2.9 penalties per game, the least in the NHL. Pierre-Luc Dubois leads the team averaging 0.3.

The Penguins are 8-6-3 against the rest of their division. Pittsburgh has converted on 19.9% of power-play opportunities, scoring 42 power-play goals.

In their last meeting on Dec. 12, Pittsburgh won 1-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Dubois leads the Blue Jackets with 31 assists and has recorded 49 points this season. Vladislav Gavrikov has collected five assists over the last 10 games for Columbus.

Malkin leads the Penguins with 49 total assists and has recorded 74 points. Jason Zucker has collected five assists over the last 10 games for Pittsburgh.

LAST 10 GAMES: Penguins: 3-7-0, averaging 2.8 goals, 4.1 assists, 3.9 penalties and eight penalty minutes while allowing 3.7 goals per game with a .860 save percentage.

Blue Jackets: 3-4-3, averaging 2.5 goals, 4.5 assists, 1.9 penalties and 4.1 penalty minutes while giving up 3.5 goals per game with a .887 save percentage.

INJURIES: Blue Jackets: Nathan Gerbe: out (undisclosed), Oliver Bjorkstrand: out (ankle).

Penguins: Nick Bjugstad: out (lower body), Dominik Simon: out (upper body), Zachary Aston-Reese: out (lower body).