The Columbus Blue Jackets are looking to stave off elimination tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


There is no tomorrow for the Columbus Blue Jackets if they do not handle their business at Nationwide Arena tonight.

The Blue Jackets come into game six of their best-of-seven series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs trailing three games to two and on the brink of elimination after Saturday's 3-1 loss at Consol Energy Center.

And desperate times call for measures the Blue Jackets have used all season, the ability to fight through adversity -- including injuries, doubt and losses in games they were winning late near the end of the regular season -- and reach the postseason for only the second time in franchise history.

"I expect nothing other than what they've done all year, to respond coming off of a game where you're obviously disappointed by the result and ready to respond to it," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "It's something that these guys have done."

Following Saturday night's 3-1 loss in game five, Columbus center Brandon Dubinsky said the team was "capable of playing better, and I think we will."

"We said it coming in, 'We know it was never going to be easy against these guys,'" Dubinsky said. "These guys have a good squad, and we knew it was going to be a long series. Now, we've got to find a way to push it to the limit."

Dubinsky, who came to the Blue Jackets in a trade with the New York Rangers following the 2011-2012 season, is no stranger to playoff games, and he feels the team is ready to do what they have done before, fight against an adverse situation.

"Having been in the playoffs before, the fourth one's always the hardest to win," Dubinsky said. "It's tough to close out series. Our backs are against the wall now, but we've just got to take the approach of being ready to play, have a good start in game six.

"We know the crowd's going to be rocking, and (we have) to be ready to start it off with a good 20 (minute first period) and not try to get too far ahead of ourselves, focus in on bringing this one back here. We know that we've got to do that, but it's baby steps."

Blue Jackets center Mark Letestu is expecting the team to match the intensity the Penguins will bring in a close-out game.

"I mean, if they're going to push, what are we going to do?" Letestu said. "It's back in our building and our backs are against the wall. When there is adversity, this is the best that this team has played all year. I expect this first elimination game for everybody to play with their hair on fire."

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