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Penguins 2, Blue Jackets 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (46-22-5) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (37-29-6)

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

TV, radio: Root Sports, Fox Sports Ohio, 105.9 The X

Here’s the official live summary.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog. Josh Yohe is on the scene for the Trib.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Eric Bowser says:

    * Goc is out 3 weeks.

    * Maatta will be healthy scratch, kid needs a rest.

    * Bennett will play on the 2nd line with Jokinen and Neal.

    * Despres will play in place of Maatta.

    * Fleury starts

    *Lines
    1st: Kunitz – Crosby – Stempniak – Despres – Niskanen
    2nd: Bennett – Jokinen – Neal – Orpik – Engelland
    3rd: Gibbons – Sutter – Megna – Scuderi – Bortuzzo
    4th: Pyatt – Adams – Glass

  2. Bizrow says:

    Thats good news about Goc

  3. Eric Bowser says:

    Yeah, saw highlights of that injury last night, figured he hurt his ankle much worse than this three week prognosis. Good news for once.

  4. Sarah says:

    Did they say the injury? Sometimes a break is actually better than a bad sprain….
    I really thought he blew his Achilles and would be out like 9+ months!….

  5. Sarah says:

    So I guess this is a possible 1st round preview Peeps???

  6. Gene-Zo says:

    Thought for sure it was a break. Either way, 3 weeks is better than I would have expected.

  7. Rbilak says:

    Should be a good game. Pens have owned Columbus. They will be desperate to prove they can beat the Pens. I agree with Maatta break, he has hit a rookie wall. The whole Olympic mess hurt the Pens significantly. I still cannot believe the CBA has the agreement to let them play. Seems like several Pens put them above the Pens.

    Let’s see who is on the point tonight. Do we take any stupid penalties? Let the game begin.

  8. Sarah says:

    I had a very bad sprain once where the ligament actually held, but broke off a piece of the bone.
    So technically a broken ankle, but the Dr said MUCH better than a torn ligament which would have meant surgery and months out.

    I was back in 3 weeks, but only maybe 70%…..

    Hoping something like that for Goc…..I guess we could get Geno back around that time also…..

  9. Pucknutz says:

    LETS GO PENS!

    Like to see just a good solid workman like game outa the guys tonight.
    I don’t think they need to play with desperation but sort of a solid “let’s get our s%$t together again, we are much better than we have been playing” type game. Something to start to lift the malaise that has descended on the team.
    Like to see a few smiles out there, “play” hockey have some fun.

    Matta get a rest – excellent.
    Groc- guess it could be worse.
    Bennett – now or never- show us what ya got. You must be the half in DK’s 1 1/2 lines.
    Fleury – not a problem.

    Great Day for Hockey !

  10. Sarah says:

    Fantastic interview today on Savran with Phil Bourque re the voices in the locker room, and whether the team is properly policing itself…..

  11. Gene-Zo says:

    It may not mean much for Pens in terms of standings, but they’ve got plenty of questions that need answered, esp tonight, against a potential 1st round opponent.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    Sadly, this is going to be a good test to see how much energy the Pens are willing to put up against an inferior opponent that has everything to lose.

  13. OK Beau Bennett!

    I’ve been touting you all season while . .
    Dejan’s been doubting you.

    Show us you’re not made of marshmallow.

  14. Brandie says:

    Many questions to answer with regards to total team accountability. Great move to rest Maatta, good news on Goc. Hopefully this does not mess with his transition to the Pens too much.

    I agree that for Despres it’s s#!t or get off the pot. He has to be allowed to do his thing so his ceiling and place within the team can be determined. Hope it’s a good meaningful game.

  15. Brandie says:

    Good summation Groatmeal!

  16. Brandie says:

    Good to see you are alive Eric B!

  17. Brandie says:

    With the only exception being lack of key Pens players due to injuries.

  18. Brandie says:

    Well said. I do see a change in Fleury but time will tell if the rest of the team can gel around him.

  19. Sam says:

    so what did he say?

  20. Gene-Zo says:

    I’ve begun to think that Beau Bennett is more myth than man. An existential question ??? …

  21. Brandie says:

    From the depths of whose mind did Beau Bennett spring?

  22. Sarah says:

    http://www.970espn.com/media/podcast-stan-savran-savran/stan-with-phil-bourque-march-28-24547367/

    Basically talked about accountability that came from the coach, vs coming from within the team (his preference)….how Mario led more by example, and the vocal leaders were guys like Tocchet or Stevens or Trots.

    That Sid leads by example.

    What was not really said was that the vocal leaders now don’t have credibility. Glass or Orpik don’t carry the same weight that Stevens or Trots did….

    Interesting listen.

  23. poz says:

    “After further review the puck crossed the line before the net came off its moorings. Good goal, but during the video review we decided to disallow it because of goalie interference. Ignore rule 69.1 that says goalie interference will be enforced exclusively in accordance with on-ice judgment and not by means of video replay or review. As referees we offer this ruling as an olive branch to suffering Pens fans. The way the Pens are playing of late, they would have lost anyway.”

  24. Gene-Zo says:

    Mr. Shero, I presume…

  25. Brandie says:

    Is proving Beau Bennett exists like having to write a geometry proof? If that is the case then I want no part of it! :)

  26. Andrew says:

    With the new playoff format if you win the division you play a wildcard correct?

  27. poz says:

    A smart person will answer you, Andrew. That clearly leaves me out. But it sounds reasonable.

  28. jm says:

    That is correct.

  29. Brandie says:

    I believe that is correct. The CBC website explains the system in depth.

  30. d says:

    Mr. CORSI:

    I believe that is correct

  31. poz says:

    I’m trying to look for reasons to predict a Pens victory, but I cannot. I read Rossi’s piece a few days ago about some players saying the team lost passion. There could not be a more critical condemnation. But I wonder if this isn’t a team worn down by injuries like never seen before – and tonight ripe to be trashed – as it does damage control.

    All signs point to a Pens loss. This is why I think the Pens will get the points necessary to seal a seat in the playoffs.

    Go Pens

  32. Brandie says:

    Good quick glove save by Fleury. Tanner Glass with a crunch!

  33. poz says:

    Guys like Kunitz cannot be turning the puck over in their own end. Lead please.

  34. Eric Bowser says:

    2011 – Islanders stood up and beat up the Penguins
    2012 – Flyers had their way the Penguins up and down the ice & beat them up
    2013 – Bruins physical manhandled the Penguins
    2014 – waiting for that physical signature game that the Pens lose…

  35. d says:

    How long before James Neal tags someone with a cheap shot?

  36. Eric Bowser says:

    Already don’t like what I see from Pens

  37. Andrew says:

    Haha, I read the CBC explanations. As of today disregarding games in hand, Tronoto would be (3) overall and Tampa Bay (4), correct? I am just trying to understand how the 2nd round would work.

  38. poz says:

    When the ref blows the whistle and says “two minutes #18 Pittsburgh – cheap shot.”

  39. Andrew says:

    2011 do you mean Lighting?

  40. poz says:

    It was clearly evident against the west teams. But even this game it’s clear the Pens are such a small team. Except for a few, don’t know how the pens can be very physical – or even clear out in front of their goal.

  41. Sam says:

    Thanks. Worth the listen.

    Don’t really understand the whole concept of professionals in any area of life needing others to hold them responsible. Whats wrong with self accountability?

  42. Wild Bill says:

    Whatever momentum we got from Borts is now gone with the holding penalty.

  43. Andrew says:

    Call me a homer but that is not a penalty.

  44. d says:

    Has Engelland turned into a pacifist???

  45. poz says:

    Yes – he is smoking a joint on the bench with a flower in his hair.

  46. d says:

    I thought I saw that too

  47. Andrew says:

    Call me a hater but that was a dive by Stempniak.

  48. d says:

    You are correct again

  49. poz says:

    Careful Andrew, the font of all hockey knowledge lambasted “homers” with a delusional condescending rant this morning. You and I, as homers – should be careful not to be chastised again.

  50. Wild Bill says:

    Mr. Calvert must go down, and go down hard, for messin with Sid.

  51. d says:

    Maybe the Pens will learn a lesson on how to be physical?

  52. poz says:

    Because I have the hockey package and where I have to listen to the Columbus announcers. But it sure sounds like there are a number Pens homers in the stands.

  53. Sam says:

    I have no idea what is and what isnt goaltender interference anymore

  54. Brandie says:

    You tell ‘em Untamed William. It is way past time for this team to get physical.

  55. Eric Bowser says:

    No…. you don’t remember the Long Island Massacre?

  56. Eric Bowser says:

    APB Alert: Sidney Crosby is MIA on the PP

    Shoot the puck, go to the net… play hard…

    Lack of effort by him is unacceptable

  57. poz says:

    If you watched last night, Sam, then you know even the rule is situational. And I am with you. I don’t know either.

  58. Sarah says:

    You’d think. Mostly that’s true. But every team needs some policing it seems.

  59. Sarah says:

    Net front is an issue at both ends….

  60. Sarah says:

    The rule itself is rather contradictory. The goalie must not be impeded in the act of making a save. But a loose puck in the crease is fair game for anyone to go after….even jamming the puck and goalie into the net.

  61. Sarah says:

    Look out Groat will rip you a new one for suggesting Crosby’s effort is lacking!

  62. poz says:

    Even he will wear down because of minutes played. But if he is out of gas from fatigue then sit him rather than keep him on the ice because he is the captain. It might be at the point where he needs more than a practice off to get his legs back. But my guess, because he is in there tonight, he will do all in his power to muster his team to a win….but then again, this is coming from an admitted homer.

  63. Eric Bowser says:

    Pfft…. Sarah, I could care less what he thinks. He can keep watching the Pirates and ignore their problems at first base.

  64. poz says:

    What got me about last night is that the refs said after review it was goalie interference. Yet when I read the rule it says interference cannot be called as a result of video replay…I don’t know…

  65. Eric Bowser says:

    I’ve seen little fire from him, he’s not doing the little things that are required to get the team going. Finish checks, drive to the net, shoot the puck…. the last two weeks from Crosby just isn’t good enough.

    Leadership, effort, production… needs to be better.

  66. d says:

    The whole team is following his lead

  67. Andrew says:

    Oh, shinning moment for the NHL. Didn’t Godard leave the bench?

  68. poz says:

    Yep – I have seen him turning the puck over way too much as well. Not like him. I think it gets worse with Malkin out as his minutes increase. He is, IMO, approaching burn out himself.

  69. Sam says:

    carrying the team on his back not enough? i think he is wearing out.

  70. Brandie says:

    I wonder what Sid thinks? Does he think he has yo solely put the team on his back since no one else is stepping up? If so, is this causing physical and mental fatigue because that result is just as dangerous. He has list so much of his career to injury that anyone who is on the team as just a hanger on should be jettisoned.

  71. Eric Bowser says:

    Penguins prospect Josh Archibald who signed an amateur tryout contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton just scored his first professional goal. He’s a skilled winger with good speed but lacks size.

  72. poz says:

    It’s enough for me Sam.

  73. Gene-Zo says:

    Lack of depth, combined with myriad injuries only exacerbates the situation and the load expected for Crosby. This ain’t your ’90s Penguins.

  74. Eric Bowser says:

    This Crosby narrative that he’s playing more hockey since the Olympic break is an outright farcical excuse.

    15 games, Sid is averaging 22:05

    For the season, Sid is averaging 22:04

  75. poz says:

    I think he will press because that is what players like himself do. And though mentioning injury will result in being labled a homer making excuses, the loss of key players has resulted in him trying to do more. And based on recent results, it’s been counter productive. He is tired, burnt and wore out.

    The team is in a bad place now. I hope they can fix it before the playoffs. But I have serious doubts.

  76. Gene-Zo says:

    Bennett with 2 straight strong shifts; the 2 best of the nite so far for Pens.

  77. Jandy says:

    Why not? Geno’s been doing that for 3 years now…if not longer…with no repercussions.

  78. poz says:

    How did the Pens not score there!!!

  79. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Stemper’s not much of a finisher.

  80. Wild Bill says:

    The more I watch the Pens, it looks like a bunch of guys who are not used to playing with one another. So many jumbled lines and defense pairings.

  81. Jandy says:

    Hold your breath ;)

  82. Jandy says:

    I’m an effin homer,….bring it!

    :D

  83. Jandy says:

    Whatever yinz are smokin, I want some too ;)

  84. Jandy says:

    Hater!

    ;X

    (What kind of homer are you, anyway????)

    lol

  85. Eric Bowser says:

    Really dumb backhand pass by Crosby…. REALLY STUPID

  86. Gene-Zo says:

    I’m not making excuses for Sid. Just expectations are (maybe) unreasonably high.

  87. Jandy says:

    sound familiar?

  88. poz says:

    Right on Eric, about the minutes. All the more reason to put someone in the place because he is underperforming.

  89. Jandy says:

    uh-oh , that S word!

  90. Andrew says:

    Well they have averaged under 2 off days between games in March, fewest of any month.

  91. poz says:

    Bylsma should be relieved between periods for leaving him on the ice.

  92. Eric Bowser says:

    huh, unreasonably high?

    He’s the best player in the game, captain…. I expect effort, leadership…

  93. Eric Bowser says:

    someone doesn’t like stupid…. ?

  94. Eric Bowser says:

    after the season

  95. Jandy says:

    well, let’s say you can’t fix it ;)

  96. Eric Bowser says:

    Way too many slapshots…

  97. poz says:

    Oh that’s coming for certain. But in the meantime, can’t he get Crosby off the ice now? Can’t he place the team above a player who is underachieving but plays because he has a C on his sweater?

  98. jm says:

    Beau knows hockey.

  99. poz says:

    Pens need a big body in front of the goalie. It doesn’t appear to be on the bench.

  100. Gene-Zo says:

    Yes, leadership I’ll agree. Effort maybe. Still only one player, and he sure isn’t the HC.

  101. Jandy says:

    Zach Sill can do that so can harry Z

  102. Brandie says:

    Hockey thread is a bit heavy.

  103. BillyBaduka says:

    Nice tangent, funny stuff both of you.

  104. Barb says:

    ++++++

  105. Jandy says:

    The Pens are making it so…

  106. poz says:

    Not certain what “heavy” means. So the insiders can giggle at my expense. But Pens are hanging in because Fleury has played his back side off.

  107. Brandie says:

    I really do like what I have seen from Fleury. More focus and less getting absorbed into himself. Now if he can only find a team to play around him.

  108. Barb says:

    Amen.

  109. Brandie says:

    Thanks Billy B.

  110. Gene-Zo says:

    Possibly “Heavy” opinions in this thread?

  111. Brandie says:

    Oh Bodacious Source! What are we going to do about these Penguins?

  112. Jandy says:

    “Heavy” isn’t a big deal, yinz guys. It was the buzzword on the thread last night..simple as that

    relax :)

  113. Sarah says:

    Bylsma used the word “heavy” to describe teams from the West and LA in particular, so many times, to the point where he was getting trolled viciously by the Kings Twitter feed.

  114. Brandie says:

    Watching the Penguins recently is like wading through an Olympic sized pool of cooked oatmeal (with apologies to cooked oatmeal). It is indeed heavy. There is so much unnecessary behind the scenes drama that it makes high school look tame.

  115. Gene-Zo says:

    “We ain’t Heavy. . . “

  116. BillyBaduka says:

    F that game.

    That was the worst goon tactic b&ll$hit I have ever seen.

    I get your point; just don’t think that assault on ice is necessary to use as an example.

    It’s the “Islanders stood up” that’s too much IMO. They didn’t stand up and they should never be referenced in any thing even close to positive for that game.

    Punk POS Gillies and Martin.

  117. poz says:

    Thanks for your attempt to explain, Zo. But I am a neanderthal. Whether I am chapping my lips on Sid’s backside or wondering what the heck Neal is thinking – or if he is thinging. The words weigh the same.

    Maybe I should change my login to “Mr Lite.”

  118. Brandie says:

    “We’re The Penguins!”

  119. poz says:

    Ahhhh Sarah…and I read that. Fat guys pushing his skeletons around. Wait until the first round of the playoffs. The Pens will be heavied so much they will be happy with the exist.

  120. Brandie says:

    Seeing Fleury play this way makes me goad he was not an Olympian!

  121. BillyBaduka says:

    He did because an Islander (as he was being ejected I believe) went after Johnson.

  122. poz says:

    Granted the pens are making it easy, but this jackets goalie is coming up with some pretty good saves.

  123. Jandy says:

    Ladies and Gents, meet the new Wizard of Poz :)

  124. Sarah says:

    Man gibbons is fast. Closed that odd man in a hurry.

  125. Jandy says:

    This is why I have the avatar I have…

  126. poz says:

    Steelers sign Blount. Big guy, Can he skate down to the front of the opposing goalie and wave his stick?

  127. Jandy says:

    Fastest Hobbitt I ever did see!

  128. Jandy says:

    GOAL!!!!!

  129. poz says:

    There is one….now can they hold?

  130. Eric Bowser says:

    Finally… Kunitz.

    soft goal but Pens will take it.

  131. Eric Bowser says:

    Welcome back Beau!!!!!!!!

  132. Jandy says:

    BENNETT ADDS ANOTHER!!!!

  133. Gene-Zo says:

    BEAU LIVES!!!

  134. Jandy says:

    Wa-Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  135. BillyBaduka says:

    Go broken Beau!

  136. poz says:

    I’m approaching 62. and it doesn’t happen much – but I might cry.

  137. poz says:

    B2, my brother. Please hold Pens. Disisciple in your end…..get the puck out.

  138. poz says:

    My goodness. Fleury stopping them single handedly. It is an insult to use “Pens” and “defense” in the same sentence.

  139. Eric Bowser says:

    Fleury has been great.

  140. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Listening to Pens radio broadcast. Lange is all kinds of fired up about this game. That’s what makes him the best. He just loves good hockey.

  141. Jandy says:

    Grrrr! KUNITZ! AGAIN??!!

  142. poz says:

    Bad penalty at a critical time….

  143. Brandie says:

    Scoring actual goals certainly lightens the mood! Awesome!!!!!!

    Go Fleury Fury!

  144. poz says:

    I’m listening to the blue jackets announcers and loving it….but after that penalty, my love has turned to the feeling I get when viewing my better half’s credit card bill

  145. Jandy says:

    POOP!

  146. Eric Bowser says:

    sigh…. penalties

  147. Jandy says:

    Go ahead and cry, it’s good for the soul :)

  148. poz says:

    85 seconds. No big deal – right?

  149. poz says:

    Oh my….Fleury amazing!

  150. Jandy says:

    I can breathe now!

  151. Eric Bowser says:

    Fleury was awesome

    Crosby was much much better in 3rd period, thanks Jack Johnson.

  152. poz says:

    Well that did it for me. To work on my heaviness, I’m launching my big behind toward the freezer and my Ben and Jerry’s. Good night to all the wonderful people.

  153. Gene-Zo says:

    Johnson’s “Whack” did ignite Sid.

  154. Jandy says:

    sweet dreams Wizard of Poz :)

  155. Brandie says:

    Likewise!

    Good moniker Ms. J!

  156. chethejet1 says:

    Nice win but Columbus is pretty ordinary. No question The Bylsman is in a do or die situation this year. I don’t know if a cup final saves him but it does seem to me that will be the level this team has to get to make the case. Me I think he needs to go and take Ray Ray with him.

  157. At long last the Pens have cinched a playoff spot, albeit on the road. And now, one can only hope that they’ll quit making fools of themselves at home and work up some momentum going into the post season.

  158. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe that is the secret to the Pens winning?

    I didn’t watch the game, or comment in here, so they won.
    Maybe that is the blueprint for success………

    :D

  159. JD says:

    I’m all for that strategy. Try it for Pirate games too.

 
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