Interestingly enough, no lineup changes for either team in Game 2.
Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 14, 2017
The Pens give a great video tribute to Steelers chairman, and Penguin fan, Dan Rooney
This one's for you, Mr. Rooney. pic.twitter.com/1I6YGfFDG2— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 15, 2017
The Penguins were also wearing special stickers on their helmets
The Blue Jackets start Game 2, just like the started Game 1 by controlling the play but still pretty only getting outside shots as the Penguins overload defense jammed up the high-scoring area, but prevented a lot of breakouts leaving them to play too much defense.
Regardless, the Pens get their first shot 8:31 into the game and whaddya know it's a goal. Conor Sheary rushes down the ice and pressures Sergei Bobrovsky, who delays with playing the puck. Costly mistake. Sheary steals the puck and passes over to Jake Guentzel. Guentzel makes a nice play using his skate to kick the puck to his stick and passes over to Sidney Crosby who's got a wide open net to slam the puck home. 1-0 Pens.
Columbus gets too preoccupied hitting everyone in sight and gives up what's been a rare 2-on-1 this series (for either team). The two Penguins are perhaps the last two you might think (and probably want): Tom Kuhnhackl and Ron Hainsey. This just in, no goal.
The period ends, shots at 11-7 CBJ which is actually a positive final 12 minutes of the period for Pittsburgh. Hits are 26-9 Columbus, as it's clear CBJ is trying to hit everything possible.
Carter Rowney knocks the hell out of Brandon Dubinsky and then Jack Johnson in the same shift with two huge hits. Crowd goes crazy to see Pittsburgh finally return the favor and get a few licks in.
CHOO! CHOO! Rowney train - coming through! pic.twitter.com/1KnGmKN3ga— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 15, 2017
Columbus breaks through, when Brandon Saad shoots a puck that might have been affected by the defenseman and over the shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury. 1-1.
more of this plz pic.twitter.com/EfsGzpySL5— ColumbusBlueJackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 15, 2017
The tie lasts 51 seconds before the Pens get it back. Pittsburgh gets another 2-on-1 on a bad change and unlike the 1st period it's Crosby and Guentzel probably the 2 players you want the MOST on it. Sid passes early to Guentzel who unleashes an absolutely nasty release on a quick shot that beats Bobrovsky across the crease and just inside of the net. 2-1 Pens.
Sid and the kids =— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 15, 2017
Let's see that Guentz-GOAL again. pic.twitter.com/Ss6aP76YJ5
Not bad for a first career NHL playoff goal, eh?
seriously, Jake, with this shot. from that angle, you had one spot to put it where Bobrovsky couldn’t get to it and you nailed it. pic.twitter.com/B8CIOBnr7a— coconut mike (@MikeDarnay) April 15, 2017
Both teams putz around, the refs finally call the first penalty of the game taking a player from each team. The the Pens take a penalty but kill it off, because the Jackets power play sucks. These are positive developments, Pittsburgh benefits from the more calls that go on.
Second period draws to a close, but not before human piece of trash Brandon Dubinsky takes a roughing minor to put the Pens on the PP for the first time in the game, on clean ice for the start of the 3rd period.
Shots are 16-12 CBJ in the period and 28-19 overall in the game.
Also late in the period, Scott Hartnell does this. But the Jackets aren't a dirty team, The Cannon said. They're not even all that physical, they said.
Scott Hartnell is a terrible human. pic.twitter.com/oBxqTHYRU3— Benstonium (@Benstonium) April 15, 2017
The aforementioned Pens PP expires but just as it does Crosby dishes a pass off to his right for Evgeni Malkin. Geno's all the way out there but shows his quick shot release with a goal that bounces in off of Bobrovsky and in the net. 3-1.
Evgeni Malk-IN THE GOAL! pic.twitter.com/pZN8X0NZsD— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 15, 2017
Love you forever, Mr. Malkin
Vlad Malkin Fist Pump Dot GIF pic.twitter.com/oN0O3bakB3— Benstonium (@Benstonium) April 15, 2017
Malkin gets a breakaway but Bob stands tall, Bryan Rust gets another chance soon after, hits the post. The home team finally buzzing.
Game goes on and Patric Hornqvist tacks on an empty netter to make it 4-1 and end the suspense of the game.
Yep, that was easier without Bob. pic.twitter.com/UdCUl9OrCs— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 15, 2017
Last minute of play, a member of the totally not-dirty and not-physical Columbus team, Matt Calvert cross-checks Tom Kunhackl from behind in the back, for no reason in a 4-1 game. Wow. NHL doesn't usually suspend for the playoffs and it's just a 4th liner so it wouldn't even be a big loss but that should be addressed.
matt calvert breaks his stick on kuhnhackl after the game is over pic.twitter.com/p3XTdR9Isy— Evgeni Malkin's Ego (@EvgeniMaIkinEgo) April 15, 2017
Dicking the guy, while he's doubled over in pain, with a check after you break a stick on him may be the worst move of it all, really.
Pens 2 games, Columbus 0.
- The Penguins bled shots early again, but all were from manageable areas. Unlike the regular season they're not hemorrhaging a ton of odd-man rushes against, and in fact getting great back-checking from forwards. Obviously they ideal is to control the puck and not give up any shots, but if you had to give him up this isn't quite the worst quality even if the quantity is still not very good.
- That said, it's evident the Pens are a team with championship experience. They don't get flustered when the opponent carries the play to start a game. They just play, as the motto goes. Keep on pressing and find a way to do what they need to do. It's pretty admirable.
- 3 points for Sid on the night, he was dangerous often.
- Teams that take a 2-0 series lead in the NHL win that series 86% of the time, per NHL Network. Would be fitting to help make that 87%, eh?
- Fleury wins his second consecutive home game in the playoffs (in same season) for first time since 2009 -h/t Bob Grove for that. MAF was great with 33/34 on the night. Didn't have a ton of tough stops to make, but he was more than solid.
- Columbus goons it up at the end. Typical team knowing they're way out of their league, frustrated and trying to lash out. Pens will have to "just play" and hopefully this series gets over quickly.
Pittsburgh takes care of business, winning both home games and goes up 2-0 in the series. Big night by Sid, Geno gets a goal and the Jackets look like they have absolutely no answers for it. Let the good times roll. Game 3 on Easter Sunday.