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Penguins Swarm Blue Jackets, Dominate in 5-1 Win



Pittsburgh Penguins game, 5-1 win over Columbus Blue Jackets

The Pittsburgh Penguins (39-16-9) missed a few golden chances in the first period and trailed by a goal. Instead of retreating, the new Penguins lines, complete with new numbers, too, overwhelmed the Columbus Blue Jackets (32-28-3) with four goals in the second period. Jake Guentzel scored a pair, Sidney Crosby had three assists and the Penguins coasted to a 5-1 win over Columbus Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins had a few great chances in the first period. Kasperi Kapanen had an open net but fanned on the shot. Radim Zohorna also had an empty net to hit but was deflected away.

Later in the first, Kapanen made up for his empty-net miss with a glorious chance as he stickhandled around two Columbus defenders in the slot for a point-blank chance. However, Joonas Korpisalo made the save.

Midway through the first period, Columbus did take advantage of a four-minute power play after defenseman Mike Matheson was assessed a double minor for high sticking. Gustav Nyquist (16) finished a dribbling rebound behind Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry.

The Penguins broke open the game in the second period with absolute domination.

In fact, that might be understated. The Penguins took 16 of the first 19 shots in the period and scored four goals. Each goal was scored within feet of the net and created on the rush.

It was a clinic.

Radim Zohorna, wearing No. 63 (2), didn’t miss his second open net when he finished Brian Boyle’s rebound. Zohorna planted it into the yawning cage early in the second period.

Just 36 seconds later, Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby worked a unique give-and-go on rebounds. Crosby grabbed Guentzel’s rebound, then slid a pass across the slot to Guentzel for another wide-open net. Guentzel (30) didn’t miss.

For the second time in his career, Guentzel hit the 30-goal plateau.

A few minutes later, Bryan Rust (21) must have been feeling left out showed his speed and stickhandling ability as he raced past a couple of Columbus defenders to the net and quickly stickhandled around Korpisalo for the Penguins’ third goal.

Later in the second period, the Penguins put the game out of reach.

On the rush, Crosby gathered a pass in his skates and blistered the bouncing puck off Korpisalo’s shoulder and into the net. Scorers later changed the goal to Guentzel (31). 4-1.

The Penguins outshot Columbus 20-6 in the middle period, and it seemed like more.

With a comfortable lead and the game in hand, the Penguins were not as aggressive in the third period. Columbus peppered Jarry in the opening minutes.

However, the Penguins quickly converted on a two-man advantage midway through the third period. After Evgeni Malkin was tripped on the power play, the big Russian center netted the goal.

Off an offensive zone faceoff, Malkin (12) wristed the puck from the top of the circle and found the far side of the net.

Columbus forward and former Penguins killer Jacob Voracek hit the post on a late power play.

Ten Pittsburgh Penguins had points on Tuesday. Guentzel had two goals. Malkin and Rust had a goal and an assist. Crosby (0-3-3) was the only player with three. No Penguins were a minus. Newly acquired Rickard Rakell had two shots but did not get his first Penguins point.

Edit: The original version listed 11 Penguins with points.

Rakell, Teddy Blueger, Danton Heinen, Jeff Carter, and Kapanen were the only forwards without a point.

Jarry stopped 26 of 27 shots. Korpisalo had a tough night. He grabbed only 32 of 27 shots.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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8 months ago

Penguins “Swarm” the Blue Jackets……maybe if they were called the yellow jackets….how bout Penguins full on assault of the Blue Jackets in the second??

8 months ago

Ricky Rakello’s first shift was sensational and could have brought the house down. He put it on a tee for Kapanen at the goal mouth and . . . Hey, give the guy some time. He’ll learn.

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul