Quick Thoughts: Blue Jackets 2, Penguins 1
With Brandon Dubinsky out, the Blue Jackets come up big with a road win against Pittsburgh.
- Big news right off the bat as Brandon Dubinsky sat in favor of the previously-scratched Ryan Murray. Dubi apparently came down an upper body injury and Dalton Prout drew in at forward.
- No goals in the first. Gregory Campbell went off for tripping at 8:12 and the Jackets killed the penalty.
- Chris Kunitz tripped up Nick Foligno a little over five minutes later. Jackets don’t get any shots but the CBJ outshoot Pittsburgh 10-5 in the first period.
- Lot of stops and starts early going in the period. Patric Hornqvist got busted early, but the Jackets gave the penalty back 68 seconds later when Kevin Connauton committed tripping of his own. The game’s first five penalties were all tripping. No dice for either team.
- Jared Boll won a faceoff. Just want that written down here to live forever.
- Columbus drew first blood at the 11:08 mark of the second. With the puck bouncing around in the Penguins end and a stickless Fleury scrambling in his crease, the puck eventually glanced off the loose stick to stay in front of the net. Scott Hartnell then had all the time he needed to put the Jackets up, 1-0. You can be both good and lucky:
- Evgeni Malkin committed another tripping penalty soon after the goal and Brandon Saad made the Penguins pay (hey, did you hear he grew up in Pittsburgh? Jeff Rimer might’ve dropped that once or twice). Ryan Murray gets the assist as No. 20 backhanded one past Fleury for the most dangerous lead in hockey with 7:11 left in the frame.
- Good catch by @myregularface here:
Fleury doesn't wanna celebrate with you, Saad pic.twitter.com/2s2zq7Tvpi— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 14, 2015
Here’s SBNationNHL’s post about it.
- Bob stopped 10 Pittsburgh shots in the second, including a frightening sequence in the closing seconds when you could hear the puck glance off the post. 2-0 Jackets after 40 minutes.
- A great thing about the young Jackets? Emotion. Ryan Johansen got called for interference in the period and COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. He’s a treasure:
- Jackets killed 53 seconds of Penguins power play to start the third. Thumbs up for dead penalties.
- Things started to heat up with about 13 minutes to go. Fedor Tyutin tangled his stick in Sidney Crosby’s legs, and No. 87 shoved Tyutin down in response. All the players then got together to have a little chat, but nobody went to the box.
- Columbus did go to the box a little later, as Kevin Connauton sat for hooking with 11:43 to go. The Jackets stymied a few entries and a Crosby one-timer flew wide as the Penguins came up empty again (with no shots) on their fifth power play of the game. Four shots total on all five PPs at that point.
- Foligno had an excellent chance, only to see Fleury stick his left pad enough to keep it out. Great speed from Saad to fly in the zone and find Foligno, with an equally great save.
- ANOTHER Connauton hooking penalty with 9:03 to go. The Folingo-Saad connection created a shorthanded two-on-none but Fleury came up with another amazing stop. Foligno might’ve telegraphed that pass a bit upon further review:
- Fleury had to make one more highlight reel stop, turning around and stopping the puck from trickling over the goal line. If not for Fleury, the Jackets might’ve won by five:
- The CBJ shutout evaporated with just under a minute to go and the extra attacker on for Pittsburgh. A Kris Letang shot from the point redirected off of Hornqvist’s stick and past Bob. 2-1 Penguins with :57 left. White knuckle time.
- It looked like the Penguins tied the game with 13.8 seconds on the clock but officials immediately waved off the goal. Phil Kessel’s shot hit Hornqvist’s legs, who then kicked in the puck. Easy to see, no controversy there. The no-goal held up under review as well.
- More nastiness in the final seconds as the Jackets hang on. Boone Jenner found himself in the middle of it and it’ll be fun when these two teams meet again in Nationwide on November 27. 2-1 Jackets.
- A win! At Pittsburgh! Bob came within 57.7 seconds of his first-ever blanking of the Penguins, but I’m sure he’ll take the W. He stopped 28 shots on the night.
- Brandon Saad and Nick Foligno played well together, especially in the third period. Saad turned in a night to remember against his hometown team and picked up two points.
- Interesting night for John Tortorella with Brandon Dubinsky out. Saad led all forwards with 18:41 of ice time and Foligno wasn’t too far behind. Dalton Prout played 4:35, and 32 seconds of it came in the final period (same as Boll).
- For all the trouble the Jackets have had keeping their foot on the throats of opponents, it looked like the same old story in the closing minutes. To be fair, Columbus had several great opportunities in the third only to see Fleury turn them away. And they won, so...great to see after Tuesday's stinker.
- Six penalties? Not great. Six kills? Great.
- One shot in 23:01 for Sid the Kid. He hasn't been himself lately, but credit the CBJ defense for stepping up against a very strong group (albeit not a very numerous group) of elite forwards and allow only one goal, especially considering all the early confusion with Murray. Thumbs up for Murray as well by picking up an assist in a solid showing.
- Back at home tomorrow against Arizona. Do the CBJ get their first win at Nationwide?