Apologies for the delay in this recap
The Columbus Blue Jackets entered game two in Pittsburgh hoping to even the series and steal home ice advantage before returning to Nationwide Arena. Instead they left Pittsburgh with two strong efforts yet an 0-2 deficit in the series.
Like Game One, the Jackets came out strong, and again were outshooting the Penguins. But again, it was the Penguins who broke through with the first goal. Sergei Bobrovsky made a Fleurian mistake by playing the puck behind the net. He thought he had time, but Conor Sheary crashed the boards and picked Bob's pocket. The puck found the stick of Jake Guentzel who centered to Sidney Crosby. Crosby had a wide open shot as Bob failed to get in position in time.
Unlike Game One, the Jackets were able to answer. Midway through the second, the Wennberg line struck. As they charged down the ice, Saad carried the puck coast to coast down the left side. He fired from the left faceoff circle over the shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury.
In a flashback to past frustrations with this franchise, the celebration was short-lived. Just 51 seconds after the Saad goal, Pittsburgh forced a turnover and started a breakaway, with Crosby and Guentzel vs. Gabriel "4th NHL appearance" Carlsson. Guentzel scored, and like that the Pens led again.
There was a scrum at the end of the second period, yet only Brandon Dubinsky was penalized, for roughing. As the PP expired early in the third, Evgeni Malkin scored.
The Jackets didn't quit, but it also did not feel like they would come back. Am I being pessimistic? Has this two week stretch broken me?
Patric Hornqvist potted an empty netter to finish the game.
Also at the end, Matt Calvert took a cheap shot against Tom Kuhnhackl. He will have a phone hearing today with the NHL. I believe that the hit was violent and unnecessary and Calvert should be suspended. I also believe the lineup would benefit from a different forward in his place. May I suggest Sonny Milano?
We will have more on the Calvert hit later today.
Game 3 is tomorrow at 6 as the series comes to Columbus. Let's hope home cooking turns the strong play into more goals this time.