Monday, 19 February, 2018

Pens ready to sweep Jackets aside

Sidney Crosby Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby Jake Guentzel
Stacy Diaz | 19 April, 2017, 07:17

Despite having a two-goal lead in Game 3, the Blue Jackets just could not shut the door on the Penguins, as center Jake Guentzel tallied a hat trick and fueled the offensive attack in the 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Columbus in overtime.

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 33 saves for the Penguins, and Sergei Bobrovsky had 42 saves for the Blue Jackets.

"I don't even know yet", he said.

Penguins forward Sidney Crosby, right, carries the puck against Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky during the first period of a game on February 17.

Who takes home Game 4? "I think our team has played hard, has had some struggles along through the game here, but we're not changing our approach in how we're supposed to play and how we're preparing for the game". He's Sullivan's guy, plain and simple.

Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky, left, of Russian Federation, makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins' Patric Hornqvist, bottom right, of Sweden, as Nick Bonino, top right, and Jack Johnson fight for position during the first perio.

"I'm trying to keep up with them for the most part", Crosby said. Remember when we were letting Tanner Glass and Joe Vitale play in playoff games? "It's a tough one to swallow right now". That includes the mighty Washington Capitals and the Toronto Matthews Leafs - one of whom will be the Penguins second round opponent.

The incident happened in game three of the Blue Jackets' best-of-seven playoffs series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (NZT Monday).

Eleven seconds into the game, Dubinsky put a shot on Fleury's pads and Atkinson was in the right place to score on the rebound, pumping up a sold-out Nationwide Arena crowd hungry for some playoff prosperity.

They also settled into the game. Then things got really bad for both Werenski and Columbus. But in Game 3, Bob was shaky at best. It's been fantastic hockey. Throw that one out and there is still a case to be made that Penguins teams of the past lacked a killer instinct to put teams away.

In the Crosby/Malkin Era, the Penguins are 15-12 when they can eliminate the other team and went 4-2 in such situations last spring.

That all changed previous year.

Through three games of this series, the Penguins had gone 113-91 on faceoffs, a success rate of 55.4 percent.

Desperation has served Columbus well through 20-plus minutes of Game 4 against the Penguins on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena, and the Penguins allowed nearly half the game to pass before they answered with an offensive pushback. Brady Skjei had the lone tally for the Rangers, but it was too little too late as the game was well in hand by the time he scored with three minutes left and the Rangers' net empty.

The Blue Jackets, who are in the playoffs for just the third time in their 17-year history, trail 3-0 in the series.

"We've got to be ready to play". If not exclusively for the Pens' benefit, then for the fact that it's been a blast to watch.