Here’s the setup: Jackets facing the Penguins in their barn, in the first game after the lopsided victory in Columbus. Bobrovsky vs. Murray. No Geno.
Outside of an early Boone Jenner breakaway chance, the Jackets weren’t able to get much on Murray in the first period. The club started with Dalton Prout and Scott Harrington as the third pairing to start the game, but after they were fed too many helping of Crosby, Sidney the defensive pairs were adjusted for balance by Brad Shaw.
After some sustained pressure by the Pens, they were rewarded with the opening goal of the game, when Phil Kessel ripped a wrister past Sergei Bobrovsky.
1-0 Penguins: Phil Kessel (Brian Dumoulin, Trevor Daley)
Shortly after, the Penguins would score again on a weird play. Matt Cullen was hauled down by Dalton Prout on a partial break, and as he was falling Cullen pulled off a shot, which was tapped in by Patric Hornqvist just a fraction of a second before the net was dislodged. It turned out to be a good goal without need for a review.
2-0 Penguins: Patric Hornqvist (Matt Cullen, Kris Letang)
The Jackets started the second period with more jump, and forced Matt Murray to make a terrific stick save after a great shift from Josh Anderson and Matt Calvert.
The Penguins were dictating play in the second until a Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky two-one-one. Boone carried the puck into the zone, kept, and shot. Murray made the save by Dubinsky potted the rebound to cut the lead in half.
2-1 Penguins: Brandon Dubinsky (Boone Jenner, Jack Johnson)
Just when the Jackets were starting to turn the momentum (P=mv) in their favour (I’m Canadian!!!) the Pens would regain their two-goal lead. Nick Bonino snuck behind everybody and scored a backdoor goal off a pass from Jake Guentzel.
3-1 Penguins: Nick Bonino (Jake Guentzel, Phil Kessel)
Whatever the coaching staff said in the second intermission seemed to work, as it took the Jackets just 29 seconds to cut the lead to one in the third period. Seth Jones made a terrific play to enter the zone (complete with spinorama!), ending up behind the goal line. He sent a pass to the slot to Brandon Saad, who fed Alexander Wennberg for the snipe.
3-2 Penguins: Alexander Wennberg (Brandon Saad, Seth Jones)
Cam Atkinson would tie the game late after a pass from Dubinsky.
3-3: Cam Atkinson (Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson)
The Jackets had a great chance in overtime off the stick of Saad, but the Jackets’ fate was sealed with Cam in the box. Up a man, Kessel fired the game winner past Bobrovsky.
4-3 Penguins: Phil Kessel (Kris Letang, Justin Schultz)
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Penguins
The Jackets are back at it tomorrow against the Devils in Nationwide.