-Wow. What a game. This was a near duplicate of last season's game between these two teams with one minor difference; The Penguins won. Either way, this was a spectacular contest that had the feel of a late-season playoff push.
-The Blue Jackets let up in the third and paid the price for it. They quit pressing the attack and essentially were playing vintage Ken HItchcock hockey. Get the puck deep, change lines defend the ensuing attack. On paper, one would thing that would work versus this wounded Penguins team, but Dan Bylsma got his team to snap out of its funk and take advantage of the Blue Jackets passive approach.
-Jordan Staal really got this come back going. When he forced that turnover with roughly 3:15 behind the Columbus net, that kept the puck in the offensive zone and allowed the Penguins to simply bombard the net until Fedotenko cashed in. If not for that turnover, Columbus probably wins this game.
-Brent Johnson really responded well after a rough first two periods. He kept the Blue Jackets at bay, even if they weren't attacking that much, and was solid in overtime. And he was obviously perfect in the shootout.
-Crosby's little pass to Goligoski for game-tying goal was something befitting a player of his skill. How many other players could identify Goligoski in that situation so close to the net surrounded by opposing defenders. Crosby put the right amount of velocity on the pass and gave Goligoski a chance to rip a nice shot to tie the game.
-The Crosby-Kunitz-Guerin line was the only consistent unit for the Penguins that had any semblence of chemistry. The other three lines just looked confused most of the night. And justifyably show given the injuries.
-Martin Skoula might've had his best game for the Penguins. He had the shot from the point that set up Fedotenko's goal and played a very solid game defensively. He made a wonderful play on Samuel Pahlsson late to break up a two-on-one. We were really impressed by him all around tonight.
-We won't beat on the power play tonight given Malkin and Gonchar's absence.
-Rick Nash is a beast. He's simply the best power forward in the game. And he plays defense.
-Bylsma speaks. On his team's comeback:
"There’s areas of the game we didn’t play well. We knew that going into the third. We knew we had 20 minutes left to put an effort out there. That’s how we approach wins and losses and period. The guys went out and played a whale of a third and hung in there and stuck with it and found a way to pull out a win."
-On Brent Johnson:
"He’s been great in practice. He’s been great in the room. When given the chance, he’s been laying it on the line on the ice. I’d like to see an easy one for him. He battles. He scratches and claws. He seems to find a way to give the team a chance. And there were some big saves he made to keep the game within reason and kept us in that game. I’m happy to see him get the two victories even though they weren’t the prettiest wins. He deserves it. The attitude, the work ethic is a big part of why he deserves it."
-On Columbus' effort in the third period:
"You saw them give up more time in the defensive zone, our offensive zone. I don’t know if that us pressing the issue, getting the offensive zone, hemming them in a few times. But we were able to keep that going. We kept talking with 10 minutes left we were looking at one (goal) every five (minutes) and we wanted to keep pressing the issue. Again, it took the last 10 minutes of pretty hard hockey to come up with two points. But our guys were able to get to the offensive zone and wear them down and we capitalized with some timely goals. "
-On the Penguins fans present:
"This might’ve been the most electric crowd of the season both from the Columbus standpoint and our fans. Right from warm up, our fans were screaming and yelling. And their fans had it going for a lot of the game as well. We had a lot of Pittsburgh fans here as well. It was entertaining. It was energetic in the building."
Crosby speaks. On the comeback:
"We were fortunate to get some good bounces in the third. But we can’t expect to play 20, 25 minutes of hockey and win every night. We don’t want to flirt with two-goal deficits in the third period, under five minutes left. The main thing we can take from this we just made sure we were going to have a good third no matter what the result was going to be. We just wanted to get back to our game a bit. I think they sat back a little too much and allowed us to make some things happen. We got some big saves from (Johnson) in net and got a few big plays later."
On his shootout goal:
"I thought he saved it. It was a kind of a fluke. The puck kept going. I don’t know if he lost it or didn’t know where it was or whatever. Shot a quick shot and I thought he had the save there and it just trickled in."
On the similarities to last season's game in Columbus:
"It was identical. It felt identical. The third we kept generating chances and chances and I think we all felt confident we could get ourselves back in it with the way we were playing and the momentum we had."
On Columbus' third period:
"Yeah. That’s what I felt. I’m sure they’ll say the same thing. They’re really tough and stingy defensively. They don’t give you a lot. They probably felt like they sat back a little bit. Combine that with us getting some pucks deep and getting a little more pressure on them. That combination, we were able to get some more chances."
-On Rick Nash:
"He’s a great player. All over the ice. He’s got tons of speed. He’s smart. He’s big. He’s hard to knock off the puck."
-On the third period:
"We didn’t give up. I think the fact we that didn’t play our game at all (in the first two periods), I’m sure that was motivation going to the third for us to bring our game for 20 minutes. We owed that to ourselves and that’s what we tried to do."
On Goligoski's goal:
"He just made a great read, came in from the point and probably figured we’d have a lot of guys coming in to filter towards the net. He made a great read and found and opening and made a great shot."
-Shots ended up tied, 32-32.
-Nash led the game with seven.
-Kunitz led the Penguins with five.
-Tyutin led the game with 26:34 of ice time.
-Letang led the Penguins with 25:20.
-The Blue Jackets controlled faceoffs, 34-29 (54 percent).
-Vermette was 13 for 20 (65 percent).
-Rupp was 4 for 6 (67 percent).
-Russell and McKee and led the game with three blocked shots each.
-Skoula's assist was his first point as a Penguin.
-Fedotenko broke into the team's top 150 all-time scorers. He passed up Paul Andrea for 149th place. Each player has 45 points but Fedotenko (15) has more goals than Andrea (18)