wnol.info May 30 2017


With Loss To Pittsburgh, Blue Jackets End Playoff Run

May 30 2017, 07:21 | Van Peters

With Loss To Pittsburgh, Blue Jackets End Playoff Run

With Loss To Pittsburgh, Blue Jackets End Playoff Run

This was an angry, testy game and I agree with Craig that when it looked like Pens might storm all the way back from a 3-0 deficit, the Blue Jackets scored early in the third to keep the game in hand.

Moments before Game 1 against Columbus, the narrative changed.

Columbus had been outplayed, and outclassed through three games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last year, on their Cup run, the Penguins didn't sweep any of the four series.

The Penguins still control the series.

William Karlsson was a hero last night. They had trouble finding the puck and keeping it on their sticks. Only a spectacular performance from Marc-Andre Fleury stopped them from taking an early lead.

If you missed any action from Monday night's slate of games you might have missed the most entertaining night of hockey you'll see this postseason. The Blues have a 3-1 lead heading into Game 5 on Saturday in Minnesota.

They didn't win enough faceoffs (37 percent) and 50-50 battles on the boards.

It wasn't because they took too many penalties either, as excessively physical teams often do.

The Sid and the Kids line wasn't dynamic.

It seems like the Pens have been on a decades long search to find the flawless winger to play alongside Sidney Crosby. Just 51 seconds after that, Scott Wilson extended the advantage to three. Conor Sheary had two.

The Penguins now have some time off as they await their next opponent in Round 2, which will either be the Washington Capitals or Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was that kind of night.

A productive power play and stingy penalty-killing - Columbus converted 2 of 12 tries with the extra man - helped the Penguins to overcome their poor starts. They were a big, physical team that liked to throw punishing hits, especially on the forecheck. "We love their ability to respond to the adversity we face or the challenges we face throughout the course of a game, throughout the course of a series". For the Blue Jackets, there's the off-season to figure out how to close the gap with Pittsburgh.

The Penguins have a golden opportunity here. Phil Kessel broke through for the team's first goal at 9:07 during a power play, which spun momentum their way and they picked up the next seven shots. After the game ended, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella described his frustration.

The Buckeyes' coach looked pretty into the game.

Columbus has a reputation as a "heavy" team, one that prospers from physical play. Whether or not you're a believer in how much physical play matters throughout a series, each successive hit the Blue Jackets throw is one more that a Pittsburgh player has to absorb.

That continued in the first two games of this series.

The most obvious reason why is that the longer this series goes, the more bumps and bruises the Penguins are going to take. “You could see the desperation in their game and saw the importance of that to be in our game as well.”.

Alexander Wennberg had a career-best 59 points and Foligno bounced back with 26 goals and 25 assists after a disappointing season in 2015-16.

Columbus still trails 3-1 in the competitive series, which shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday night.

Good news for the Penguins is that the Blue Jackets have yet to beat them at home all season.

It's only the second time in the Pacers' NBA history they have lost the first three games in a best-of-seven series.



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