Blue Jackets Drop Game Five 3-1
Coming off an incredible comeback win in Columbus in game four, the Blue Jackets took an early lead Saturday night in Pittsburgh for game five, but weren’t able to hold on, losing 3-1. The loss puts the Jackets behind the Penguins 3-2 in the best of seven series.
Even though Pittsburgh came out aggressive, Columbus was able to weather the initial storm. What could have been trouble when the Blue Jackets were forced to go on a penalty kill early on, was neutralized less than ten seconds into the power-play when Pittsburgh committed a goal interference penalty, eliminating their advantage. The Blue Jackets got a power-play of their own just under halfway through the period and, after fending off a couple of shorthanded opportunities from Pittsburgh, capitalized on their advantage with five seconds left on the power-play as Boone Jenner scored his third goal of the playoffs to put the Jackets up 1-0. Columbus held onto the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission, despite being outshot by Pittsburgh fifteen to nine.
The Blue Jackets went shorthanded early in the second period when James Wisniewski was called for cross-checking, his third straight game with a penalty. That led to a Penguins goal by Chris Kunitz to tie the score a 1-1. Wisniewski was penalized again later in the period for high-sticking, but the Blue Jackets were able to kill off that power-play. The score remained at just 1-1 heading into the second intermission, even with Pittsburgh dominating Columbus for most of the period, taking twenty-one shots to the Jackets’ eight shots.
The high number of shots on goal from Pittsburgh eventually caught up with the Blue Jackets at 6:16 into the third period, when Jussi Jokinen scored to put the Penguins ahead 2-1. Columbus was unable to answer for the rest of the game. They eventually pulled Sergei Bobrovsky from goal, resulting in a late empty-netter from Kris Letang to make it 3-1. Columbus took just seven shots in the third period, to Pittsburgh’s fifteen.
For the game, Pittsburgh outshot Columbus fifty-one to twenty-four. The Penguins are getting point production, despite Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who were the Penguins’ point leaders during the regular season, having still yet to score a goal throughout the series.
The final score in game five was different than the 4-3 of the previous games. However, the team that scored first in each of the previous four games of the series went on to lose, a trend that unfortunately continued Saturday night.
Game six brings the series back to Columbus Monday night where the Blue Jackets will need to get a win in order to get a shot at game seven. The puck drops at Nationwide Arena Monday night at 7:00pm.
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