The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t have it on Friday night. They failed to clear pucks, possess or maintain pucks and failed to keep their zone clean. They were also generous guests and shared their pucks with their hosts, the Columbus Blue Jackets. It wasn’t a potluck Friendsgiving as the teams traded shoves and punches but the outcome was never in doubt. The Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Penguins 5-2 at Nationwide Arena.
It was a disappointing effort after the Penguins electric comeback win on Wednesday night. Since the Penguins lost on Friday, the stat table turns. The team has given up 11 goals in their last two games, including three power-play goals in just six chances. Columbus was two-for-four.
“We’re not good enough right now on the penalty kill,” deadpanned head coach Mike Sullivan.
Head coach Mike Sullivan did little to quell the goalie controversy by putting Jarry in the primary position Friday night. The starter usually plays the first of back-to-back games. We’ll grade Jarry’s performance in the Report Card section.
Friday morning, Bryan Rust was injured in the morning skate and was unable to play. Perhaps yet another (and another, after another, and another, and another) injury finally affected the Penguins mental edge. The players are human beings. At some point, this injury bug is too much to ignore.
“You have to give them credit, but we…we were standing too still,” said defenseman Marcus Pettersson. “When they were coming hard, we got overwhelmed by them.”