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Pens Points: Series, Blouses

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Pens advance to Round 2 with 5-2 victory over Blue Jackets in Game 5. Crosby and Malkin step up when needed most. Pens finally get a resolution on old Mellon Arena ground. Defense needs to tighten up in front of Fleury going forward.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to close out Round 1 on home ice for the second straight season the Penguins got off to a roaring start against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 5. Up 3-0 before the midway point of the game the Pens were closing in on the second round but the Blue Jackets did not go quietly, fighting back to within one at 3-2. A questionable goaltender interference call wiped away a tying goal from Columbus and turned into a Sidney Crosby power play goal that started to lower the Jacket’s coffin. The three goal lead was restored a few minutes later and the Pens went into lock down mode to close out a 5-2 victory and eliminate the Blue Jackets 4-1 to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. [Pensburgh]

Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley found themselves on the sidelines for significant portions of the 2016-2017 season due to long term injuries. Both used the time off to heal up and make it back for the playoffs where it looks like neither has lost a step. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Since becoming head coach of the Penguins, Mike Sullivan has skillfully used all four lines to create results. Even with a complete lineup Sullivan still expects his top two lines led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to do the heavy lifting. [Trib Live]

Fan experience is one of the most important parts for a franchise if they hope for long term success financially. Over the past decade the Pens off ice staff has put the fans first and made the game experience one of a kind. [USA Today]

In the five years since the Mellon Arena was torn down, there has been a constant power struggle over what to do with the land the iconic arena once called home. Finally there appears to be a resolution. The Penguins organization is planning to build a residential complex on the land with construction slated to begin in early 2018. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Even though Marc-Andre Fleury has looked shaky at times in the series that does not make up for how poorly the Pens defense has played in front of him at times. If the team is to make a deep run, this will have to be the number one priority going forward. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

The farther the Penguins advance in the playoffs with Fleury in goal, it could pay big dividends in the offseason when they try to move the goalie to help with the expansion draft. [The Hockey News]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Less than 24 hours after news leaked about star Jack Eichel being unhappy, the Buffalo Sabres fired general manager Tim Murray along with head coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday. [Puck Daddy]

More than a year after an ugly incident in Calgary, NHL linesman Don Henderson filed a $10.25 million lawsuit against Flames’ defenseman Dennis Wideman for damages and loss of income after the defender hit him during a game. [TSN]

Sports Illustrated ran an interesting project asking “What If?” on some of sports biggest moments. For hockey, they examined the Wayne Gretzky trade to the Los Angeles Kings and what the league would look like if the deal never happened. [SI]

There was a lot of controversy around the subject of releasing the protected lists for the expansion draft to the public. After some debate and criticism, the NHL decided they will release the lists. Count Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee a fan of the idea. [Sin Bin]