The smiles were big and the breaths were big sighs of relief, too. The Pittsburgh Penguins submitted a better effort Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets than the Penguins did in their first game. After the first period, the Penguins began to blitz the Columbus zone. Outlet passes found the tape, and things flowed. Jared McCann scored a pair, and so did Patric Hornqvist.
One begot two. And two generated four. Before long, the Penguins hung a seven spot on the Columbus Blue Jackets and showed killer instinct by going for more. The Penguins eventually buckled Columbus for a 7-2 win at PPG Paints Arena Saturday.
The Penguins simplified their game on several fronts.
The effort was noteworthy, but the details were more important. The Penguins scuffled through the first period without getting to their game. In fact, neither team was able to find a rhythm, but when the Penguins got their first goal, via a Jack Johnson shot, everything changed.