Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 3
Some news and notes, facts and quotes from the Penguins’ 4-3 victory over Columbus in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Monday night at Nationwide Arena.
*** The Penguins have a 2-1 lead in the series, which continues with Game 4 Wednesday night at Nationwide.
*** Columbus, fueled by a heavily pro-Blue Jackets crowd, got goals from Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson scored twice in the first 198 seconds of play, precisely the kind of start the Penguins had hoped to avoid. “It was a tough start, but nobody panicked,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said.
*** Fleury was beaten on two of the first three shots he faced, both rebounds, but stopped everything he faced the rest of the game except for a Brandon Dubinsky shot that carmed off Cam Atkinson early in the third period. “Marc-Andre Fleury was completely outstanding tonight,” Penguins center Brandon Sutter said. “He was great. He made a lot of big saves to keep us in it. It could have been 3-0 a couple of times.”
*** Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was outstanding for the first 39 minutes of the game, but was beaten from the slot by Brooks Orpik with 1.8 seconds left in the second period, then gave up goals to Sutter, Lee Stampniak and Jussi Jokinen in two minutes, 13 seconds in the third.
*** The winning team has failed to hold at least one two-goal in each of the first three games. “It’s abnormal, especially in the playoffs,” Johnson said. “I tell you one thing: In Game 4, I hope we have a 3-1 lead.”
*** The Penguins were outhit, 65-32, but outshot Columbus, 41-20. “Usually when you get hit, you have the puck,” Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said. “At the end of the day, I will take 40-something shots over having the most hits.”
*** Johnson, who scored his third goal of the series, reacting to the outcome: “I don’t think Game 4 can come fast enough for us. We’re pretty anxious to get out there and play again.”
*** Penguins center Sidney Crosby picked up an assist in Stempniak’s goal, giving him a point in 13 consecutive games against Columbus.
*** The Penguins were 0-for-6 on the power play, making them 2-for-29 with the extra man in their past seven away playoff games.
*** The crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Blue Jackets, which has not been the norm at Nationwide for most of the past decade. “It was really loud, especially when they got off to that start,” Stempniak said. “They fed off that momentum.”
*** The Penguins have won Game 3 five consecutive times after splitting the first two in a series.
*** Fleury, on reacting to the Penguins’ bad start: “Forget that [first goal], and the other one, and stop the next one,” he said. “Just make the next save. I always believe we can come back in games, and we did tonight.”
*** The Penguins have allowed the first goal in nine of their past 10 playoff games on the road. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing for them, however, because they’ve lost the past three away playoff games when they’ve opened the scoring.
*** The Penguins have killed 21 of 22 power plays they’ve faced in their past six away playoff games.
*** The Blue Jackets got back left winger Nick Foligno, who missed the first two games because of an unspecified injury, but were without defenseman Fedor Tyutin. His place in the lineup was taken by Dalton Prout.
*** Sutter, on teams failing to hold two-goal advantages in this series: “Any team that gets the lead seems to find a way to give it up.”
*** Columbus coach Todd Richards, on the state of the series: “I’ve seen teams lose three games and win a series. This was our second loss.”