Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins Lead Series 1-0
Root Sports, NBCSN, FS-O, CBC, RDS – 7:00 pm/et
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Game two. A win today and the Pens have a strong lead in this series. A loss today and we’re pretty much back to square one. The Pens turned things around in game one, but they’ll need to be stronger defensively tonight unless the power play can bail them out again.
Penguins: Matt Niskanen (1G, 1A, 2P)
Blue Jackets: Jack Johnson (1G, 1A, 2P)
Likely Starting Goaltenders:
Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (1-0-0, 3.00 GAA, .912 Sv%)
Blue Jackets: Sergei Bobrovsky (0-1-0, 4.07 GAA, .875 Sv%)
What Happened in Game One: Recap
“The Pens performed well for a team that hadn’t played a meaningful game since Nam. Biggest takeaway from Game One is that the Penguins got better as the game wore on, and the Jackets faded after an unrealistic start. The worst news for the Jackets: this may very well have been the best game they can be expected to play in this series.”
Opposition Blog: The Cannon
What They’re Saying: “The Second Season Begins”
“Brandon Dubinsky was the assigned “spy” on Sidney Crosby, appearing on the ice whenever number 87 came over the boards, to the extent possible, given that the Penguins had the last change. Dubinsky is the perfect choice for that role, as he combines skill, a physical game, and that intangible quality of being able to get under the skin of the opposition. It appeared to work with Crosby, who responded with passive-aggressive slaps after whistles blew, and continued to work the officials with every stoppage. Boone Jenner appeared to select Evgeni Malkin as his designated target, with similar impact.
Contrary to popular opinion, Pittsburgh is not averse to physical contact, ranking 9th in the NHL in hits. In fact, this series is somewhat of an oddity, as it features two playoff teams who rank in the top 10 in hits (Columbus ended the regular season tied for first with Los Angeles.) The hitting went both ways, and the combination of speed and physical play made it clear that playoff hockey started in high gear.”
Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Everyone on the Penguins’ defense not named Matt Niskanen. They need to be better.
Blue Jackets Player(s) to Watch: Brandon Dubinsky. He’ll be all over Crosby again.
Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game:
Gotta go with the baby again. Buckle Up Baby.
Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Daily Faceoff:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Brian Gibbons
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Lee Stempniak – Brandon Sutter – Beau Bennett
Tanner Glass – Joe Vitale – Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik – Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi – Kris Letang
Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen
Columbus Blue Jackets lines from Daily Faceoff:
Boone Jenner – Ryan Johansen – Jack Skille
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger – Artem Anisimov – Blake Comeau
Derek MacKenzie – Mark Letestu – Corey Tropp
Ryan Murray – James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin – Jack Johnson
Nikita Nikitin – David Savard