Sport Penguins have answer for everything in comeback win over Blue Jackets

07:45  17 april  2017
07:45  17 april  2017 Source:   sportingnews.com

Holtby helps Capitals hold off Blue Jackets, 3-2

  Holtby helps Capitals hold off Blue Jackets, 3-2 Braden Holtby stopped 35 shots, Andre Burakovsky had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals held on for a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night. T.J. Oshie and Matt Niskanen also scored for the Capitals, who improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Washington, with a league-best 112 points, leads Pittsburgh by five points in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets are another point back in third.Holtby's 41st win of the season also tied him with his Blue Jackets counterpart Sergei Bobrovsky for best in the league.

Before Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Penguins , Tortorella said he wanted the young team to experience a playoff victory, lousy music and all. Jack Johnson and Josh Anderson also scored for the Blue Jackets , who were able to outlast the Penguins when they pushed back hard in the second and third

The Penguins erased a 4-2 deficit in the 3rd before Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby scored the only two shootout goals in a 5-4 comeback win .

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Penguins allowed a goal in the first 11 seconds and three goals in seven minutes at a hostile Nationwide Arena in Game 3 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Sunday.

The Blue Jackets had a commanding 3-1 lead at that point. How did that make Penguins coach Mike Sullivan feel?

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"I thought it had been our best start to the series," he said. "It was hands-down our best first period. The score didn't indicate that, but we really liked a lot of the first period."

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After Seth Jones gave the Blue Jackets an early 1-0 lead when he deflected a puck off Jay Beagle and past Jacob Markstrom just 47 seconds into the first If, like me, you were surprised to see the Canucks come back for the win —there's a good reason. A comeback that late hasn't happened for nearly a

Aside from the proficient scorers on the Penguins , Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and Pittsburgh netminder Matt Murray will be the main focus

Really? That helps explain how the defending Stanley Cup champions outlasted the Blue Jackets 5-4 in an overtime victory to take a 3-0 lead series. A hat trick by Jake Guentzel, who scored the game-winner in overtime, didn't hurt. It's about one word here.

Response. Every time the Blue Jackets took the momentum, the Penguins had one. That is the difference in this series between the Eastern Conference rivals. Sullivan saw it in the first period, believe it or not.

"Some of the goals didn't go our way early on but we responded the right way," Sullivan said. "That's such an important aspect of our group, is our ability to respond and react the right way."

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The Blue Jackets —who won both their home meetings against the Penguins in the regular season — brought their ‘A' game to start. Cam Atkinson scored in 11 seconds and again on an unassisted goal after Guentzel knotted the score at 1-1. Zach Werenski's goal increased Columbus' lead to 3-1 with a slap-shot. There's that 3-1 lead.

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Columbus Blue Jackets . The Blues ’ win marked the first time in 15 years, and fourth time overall, the road team has won each of the first five games in a seven-game series. Oskar Sundqvist passed the puck over to Schenn and then was pushed down by Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and into

Here’s the thing : Passivity aside, the Leafs aren’t severely defective in any part of their collective game. Which is why coach Mike Babcock is always banging There’s no urgency to a corrective for Toronto’s roster now that the ship has all but sailed over the horizon on home-ice advantage in the post-season.

Yet Sidney Crosby, like his coach, liked what he was seeing.

"Just chances," Crosby said. "In the second half of that first period we got some really good chances and we were down, but it felt like we could've easily tied it up. It doesn't mean everything's great, but it built some momentum in the second."

Crosby notched two more assists, giving him four in the last two games. In seven playoff games against the Blue Jackets, Crosby has eight total: That's a major factor in the series.

"These guys have a certain mindset that really is contagious within the group and it starts with Sid," Sullivan said. "But it doesn't just end there. I think it downs to the group with our veteran guys."

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Center Evgeni Malkin got in on the act with two assists to Bryan Rust in the second period. One of those goals came when a puck bloodied Werenski's face but play wasn't stopped. It was a break the Blue Jackets needed, because the Penguins again responded at the right time.

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The Penguins have won three straight and lead the New Jersey Devils by two-and-a-half games in the Atlantic Division. Brian Boucher took over for Bryzgalov with a little less than three minutes remaining in the second period. Boucher faced six shots in relief of Bryzgalov, giving up the game winner just 18

The Blue Jackets again tried to blast the Penguins to smithereens, accumulating a 50-30 edge in hits. The Penguins will take the Malkin and Hornqvist tallies, but this night belonged to Sid and the Kids, driving possession and creative scoring chances nearly every time they hopped over the boards.

They also settled into the game. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury—who limited the Blue Jackets to two goals in the first two games — settled down, too. Guentzel scored the go-ahead goal at 11:48 in the third period.

"When you're playing a goalie like (Sergei) Bobrovsky you have to get your shots off quick," Guentzel said. It proved to be prophetic later.

Columbus blew a 3-1 lead —the popular phrase these days — but they tied the game on Brandon Dubinsky's goal at 15:11 to set up overtime.

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This game,and the momentum of the series, hinged on who had the last response in overtime. Dubinsky hit the cross-bar. Pittsburgh's Justin Schultz hit the post. Then Crosby swiped the puck and passed to Guentzel, who made the most of his chance with the overtime game-winner.

"Jake is mature beyond his years," Sullivan said. "He's a real good player. I don't think the stage is too big. I think he's got a quiet confidence about him that's he's displayed from Day 1 since he's been part of the Penguins."

Now those Penguins appear to have a stranglehold on the series, and could close out the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Once again, Sullivan doesn't quite see it that way.

"Game 4 is always the most difficult," he said. "They're a good team and they're a proud team and they're well-coached and we know that we are probably going to see their best game and that next game is going to be that much more important to play the game and do our best to get to our game as early and often as we can."


Crosby, Bobrovsky, McDavid named Hart Trophy finalists .
Two-time Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday was named one of three finalists for the annual award that goes to the player who is deemed most valuable to his team. The other finalists are Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid.Crosby, who was facing the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series on Monday night, also was a finalist for the award won by Chicago's Patrick Kane last season. A six-time finalist, Crosby previously won the award in the 2006-07 and 2013-14 seasons.

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