Pittsburgh Penguins @ Columbus Blue Jackets
March 28, 2014. 7pm. Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
Blue Jackets 1
From the drop of tonight’s puck the atmosphere inside Nationwide Arena was tense. Whenever the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town they always pack the house with their own and typically drown out the Columbus faithful. Tonight was no different, and on most of these occasions the Blue Jackets fail to send the away fans home disappointed.
The Penguins scored 47 seconds apart in the third period, despite a gritty effort from backup Curtis McElhinney and the rest of the boys in Union Blue. The Jackets were able to keep the Pens off the board through 2 periods, but a lapse from McElhinney then a lapse in holding the blue line resulted in 2 pucks in the back of the net. James Wisniewski scored late to pull the CBJ within 1 on a power play, but Marc-Andre Fleury stood up to the kitchen sink that was thrown his way making 35 saves.
Nick Foligno got into a fight with Robert Bortuzzo in the first period, and appeared to sneak a few rights in on the larger combatant. It was clear early the Jackets would not be intimidated by the second best team in the Eastern Conference, but unfortunately they couldn’t get any pucks by Fleury. The pace was furious and at times very fast.
It was a great effort from the Blue Jackets, and it was unfortunate to see those kinds of goals go in on McElhinney after a great performance through two periods. Two goals in 47 seconds is what makes hockey the best game or the worst game in the world depending on the side you root for. Hockey is a funny game like that, and a couple small mistakes can cost an entire game. Next up is the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, which with 9 games left leaves every set of points huge. Hopefully the Jackets can pick themselves up in Carolina.
1. Marc-Andre Fluery- 35 saves for his 35th win of the season, including some clutch stops in the last minute.
2. Curtis McElhinney- valiant effort in place of the ill Bobrovsky. Two quick goals blemish otherwise spectacular night.
3. Matt Calvert- Matty Hustle had the legs pumping tonight and created many scoring chances.