Pittsburgh scored at least three goals in all five games and at least four in four of them to leave the Blue Jackets still searching for their first playoff series victory. They still lead the series 3-1. It’s been frustrating at times, but seeing these guys win one for the hometown fans – IN REGULATION – was worth it.
Before Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Penguins, Tortorella said he wanted the young team, which had won 16 games in a row during the regular season, to experience a playoff victory, lousy music and all. Last year, on their Cup run, the Penguins didn’t sweep any of the four series. The Pens still hold all the cards and they have two home games left in the series.
The Penguins, though, figure to make getting out of the defensive zone cleanly a priority in practices leading up to the next series. What are the chances they lose three straight games and the series?
The Penguins got the board when right winger Phil Kessel put a shot beyond the reach of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at the 9:07 mark of the first period.
“They have good players”.
Crawford was exceptional for the first 29 1/2 minutes, but he didn’t get much help in the final part of the game.
NOTES: Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski is out for the remainder of the playoffs after sustaining facial fractures during Game 3 on Sunday night.
Pittsburgh, though, would just as fine outplaying opponents than simply trying to outscore them. After scoring three goals in their first three games combined against the Edmonton Oilers this series, the Sharks’ offense erupted at home Tuesday night in a 7-0 win.
The Sid and the Kids line wasn’t dynamic.
There also becomes the question of what another loss or two does to the Penguins’ goaltending situation.
Only 25 seconds later, Andrei Markov slipped a pass into the slot for an unguarded Gallagher to score on a snap shot. Conor Sheary had two. This time, the Penguins fell just short of another comeback.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – After posting two of the top four records in the National Hockey League in the regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets both need to find out a way to get a win on the road or their playoff runs will end nearly as soon as they began.
It was that kind of night. The Penguins took their initial step toward becoming the first team in almost 20 years to capture back-to-back championships by watching Fleury turn back the clock. They were a big, physical team that liked to throw punishing hits, especially on the forecheck. “So we’re expecting, obviously, a pushback from them and we know we’re going to see their best the next game”. The Blue Jackets have now lost seven of the past nine meetings with Pittsburgh.
The Penguins have a golden opportunity here.
While the six additional Eastern teams now attempting to advance to the second round will say all the right things in the days that lead up to the culmination of round one, the truth is each club, no matter how slight, is keeping an eye on the goings on around the league.
Has John Tortorella, the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach and man with a legendary temper, mellowed out a little bit?
Columbus has a reputation as a “heavy” team, one that prospers from physical play.
That continued in the first two games of this series.
“It’s going to be more hard, because it takes more layers of skin”, said Tortorella, whose Blue Jackets went 34-40-8 in 2015-16, finishing second to last in the East.
Now many of you may not see this as a real problem.
Cam Talbot’s two-game shutout streak ended 15 seconds into Game 4 when Joe Pavelski scored the fastest playoff goal in Sharks franchise history, opening the flood gates.
Foligno couldn’t even get his injured foot in his skate boot for Game 5 against the Penguins on Thursday, Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports. That’s pretty poised for a 22-year-old rookie.