Saturday Pens Points: Crucial Game 5 Today

Kirk Irwin

Orpik out, Goc in as Pens face Columbus in game 5. Fleury starts in net. Oates, McPhee out in Washington. Mozyakin tearing through KHL playoffs.

In what's been a topsy-turvy playoff series so far, Pens play critical game 5 against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at 7 pm. The game will mark some llineup changes for the Pens, who will miss Brooks Orpik but welcome back Marcel Goc tonight.

Jayson Megna looks to lose his lineup spot with Goc's return, while Orpik's replacement - Bortuzzo or Engelland - isn't known yet. How about they both play while Rob Scuderi gets to rest? Just a thought. Here are some observation from the PensNation going into tonight's game.

Pens' top players are acknowledging the onus is on them to do better and start putting points on the score sheet. In particular, Kunitz might go where he found success all year - to the net. Average shot distance for Pens players in these playoffs: 18 feet. Average shot distance on goals scored in regular season: 12 feet. Doesn't take a rocket scientist.

After Dan Bylsma called on his players to wake up from their hibernation, Dave Molinari argues the burden is on all the players to step it up.

Every Mike Colligan article is worth reading, and this one is no different: the story of the Pittsburgh-Columbus series seen through the stats. A real eye opener.

In non-playoff news, the Washington Capitals fired head coach Adam Oates and didn't renew the contract of GM George McPhee. Read the commentary and reactions over at Japer's Rink. Here is also Kevin Allen's reaction and advocacy for Barry Trotz.

Staying with the Capitals, per Washington Post's Katie Carrera Penguins assistant GM Jason Botterill is one of 9 candidates for George McPhee's successor.

Highlights of last night's games: Ducks rout Stars to regain series lead, Hawks and Blues go to OT again with Toews netting the GWG, and Steve Mason returns and is sharp for the Flyers as they even their series against the Rangers at two games apiece.

Some KHL playoff updates: Metallurg Magnitogorsk has taken a 3-2 series lead in Gagarin Cup Finals as Sergei Mozyakin continues to rip defenses and nets.

Back to tonight Pens game: Dan Bylsma just announced - to the surprise of exactly no one - that Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net tonight. Go get 'em, buddy. Oh, and happy birthday to Craig Adams.

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