-Hey, guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-You know you're in a hardcore hockey bar when former Penguins/Blue Jackets forward Tyler Wright's name is on the wall of a restroom:
-As expected, the yinzer population in Columbus had risen dramatically in the last 24 hours:
-Some two hours prior to the game, we were struggling to find Blue Jackets fans until we spotted this lonely Antoine Vermette supporter:
-Nationwide's evil corporate lair:
-Cheap Trick's "Surrender" greets fans entering the facility:
-The invasion of Columbus has been successful. A few jersey sightings. Former Blue Jacket Mike Rupp:
-Darius Kaspr _ _ _ _ _:
-Espen Knutsen's all-star jersey is on display:
-The Civil War theme is big here:
-The cannon they fire after goals:
-Dear lord. Here's an all-timer. Steve Guenette:
-Maxime Talbot has some quiet fans on hand:
-Fans walking the main entrance:
-The Penguins' starters are Chris Conner, Mark Letestu, Tyler Kennedy, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Mike Comrie, Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin.
-The Blue Jackets starters are Derick Brassard, Rick Nash, Jakub Voracek, Jan Hejda, Fedor Tyutin and Steve Mason.
-Their scratches are Andrew Murray, Anton Stralman and Kyle Wilson.
-Even on the road, No Jimerson = No photos.
-During the pregame activities, the Blue Jackets were booed as they took the ice. Just unreal.
-Kunitz is wearing the other "A" tonight with Malkin sidelined.
19:34: Battling for a loose puck in the left wing corner, Nash sicks his left shoulder in the right shoulder/back of Orpik. Orpik crashes face-first into the board. Orpik lays on the ice shaken up. A small scrum develops along the boards. Nothing comes of that. Trainer Crhis Stewart attends to Orpik who eventually makes his way to his feet. That looked like a clean hit to us.
15:56: Conner challenges Jan Hejda one-on-one in the slot. Hejda bodies him to the ice but Conner is able to whip a tricky wrister on net. Mason knocks it away with his blocker.
15:10: Deryk Engelland snaps off a wrister from the right point. It appears to hit a body or two before Mason can glove it.
14:50: Pascal Dupuis collects a loose puck on the right wing, spins and chops a slapper on net. Mason boots it away.
14:35: Crosby gins the offensive zone on the left wing and chucks a long-distance wrister on net. Mason eats it up.
14:35: Chris Clark is called for slashing Crosby. Kunitz, Crosby, Letestu, Martin and Letang take the ice.
13:45: Crosby pumps aone-timer from the right circle. Mason steers it to the corner.
13:17: And the Penguins get a little lucky. Martin picks up a loose puck at the right point, fakes a slapper from the left wing and forces a pass to the slot. It hits off Mike Commodore and deflects on net. It squeezes through Mason's gear and into the net. Martin gets credit for the goal. There are no assists. Penguins fans go crazy. Penguins 1-0.
11:55: Tyutin rips a wrister from the right point. Despite traffic, Fleury finds a way to body it away.
11:49: Hejda whips a wriste ron net from the left point. Fleury fends it off.
10:59: That legendary Godard to Rupp connection strikes. Eric Godard, in for Malkin, blasts a slapper form the right wing. Mason makes the save but allows the puck to clumsily trickle through his five hole. The puck skids back through the crease and nnneearrrrrllly comes to a stop on the goal line before Mike Rupp jabs it in. A shaky start for Mason. Godard get credit for his first goal of the season but that can't be correct. Adams and Rupp get assists. Penguins 2-0.
10:35: Orpik is called for tripping against Jakub Voracek. Pascal Dupuis, Zbynek Michalek, Craig Adams and Paul Martin take the ice.
9:54: Dupuis gains the offensive zone with speed, fakes a slapper and lifts a wrister on net short side. Mason fends it off.
8:40: Adams flies up the right wing shorthanded and rips a wrister wide on the near side.
8:09: Crosby battles behidn the Columbus net for possession of a puck with Marc Methot. Methot is called for high sticking. Crosby, Kunitz, Letang, Martin and Letestu take the ice.
7:05: Rostislav Klesla has a brutal turnover from the right wing corner in his own zone. He turns and rips a clearing attempt right to... Martin. Martin pretty much moves in from the right point all the way to the slot and snaps off a low wrister which trickles through Mason. His rough night continues. Martin has two goals? Dang? It's another unassisted goal. Klesla should get one. Penguins fans go nuts again. Penguins 3-0.
5:23: Rupp was officialls credited with the second Pittsburgh goal. Eric Godard's hopes and dreams are dashed. Godard and Adams get assists.
5:05: The Blue Jackets keep killing themselves. Ethan Moreau lumberjacks Conner's stick in half. That's two minutes for slashing. Crosby, Letestu, Kunitz, Letang and Martin take the ice.
4:1: This is just brutal. From the top of the slot, Letang moves a puck to the right point for Letestu. Letestu winds up and chops a shot wide on the near side, intentionally we presume. Crosby is there and re-directsit by Mason's blocker. What a play by Crosby. Mason is mercifully pulled in favor of Mathieu Garon. The "road" fans go nuts again. Letestu and Letang get assists. Penguins 4-0.
3:08: The Blue Jackets get a chance to get back into this as Cooke is called for hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct. Dupuis. Orpik, Adams and Michalek take the ice.
2:24: You know the Penguins are on when Talbot's leading shorthanded rushes up ice which result in Michalek shots which deflect out of play.
1:51: Martin' rushes up the right wing and snaps off a wrister from the circle. Garon denies his bit for a hat trick.
0:00: End of period. Penguins fans off their team a standing ovation as they leave the ice. Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 0.
-Well... that was pretty one-sided. Columbus looked like an AHL team.
-When the Penguins are regularly leading shorthanded rushes, you know this is a one-sided game.
-Heck, when the Penguins are scoring multiple power play goals in a period, you know it's one-sided.
-The Penguins probably could take Marc-Andre Fleury gear to a trash can and still win this game.
-You would think after getting demolished last night in Buffalo, the Blue Jackets would respond better. This is embarrassing.
-The Penguins have a 16-2 lead in shots. Yikes.
-Crosby, Martin and Rupp each lead the game with three shots.
-No one for Columbus has more than one.
-Letang leads the game with 10:08 of ice time.
-Commodore leads the Blue Jackets with 9:25.
-The Penguins have a 9-8 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).
-Letestu is 3 for 3 (100 percent).
-Derick Brassard and Samuel Pahlsson are each 3 for 5 (60 percent).
-Dupuis leads the game with two blocked shots.
20:00: The Blue Jackets will have 53 seconds of power play time on fresh ice. Talbot, Dupuis, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.
19:03: Brassard rips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury eats it up. Cheers ring out. We're not sure if those were false cheers for the Blue Jackets getting an actual shot on net.
18:38: Methot flies up the right wing, get by Alex Goligoski and snaps off a low wrister. Fleury bots it away. The Blue Jackets have a little bit more urgency this period.
17:47: After an icing call, Dan Bylsma take a time out.
16:51: This is brutal. Kennedy rips a wrister from the right circle. Garon makes the inital save. Letestu is there the rebound but is denied by Garon. The rebound kicks out to the slot. Kennedy follows up on it and clunks it off the crossbar and into the net. Fans are a little confused if it went in but eventually start cheering. Letestu and Conner get assists. Penguins 5-0.
(Remember, this is a road game.)
13:39: The comeback is on!!!! Klesla corrals a loose puck at the left point. He whips it towards the cage. Samuel Pahlsson is in the slot and makes a fantastic re-direction with the shaft of his stick. The puck deflects juuuust under Fleury's armpit on his blocker side and into the net. Klesla and Ethan Moreau get assists. Penguins 5-1.
11:21: Prior to a faceoff in the neutral zone, Jared Boll and Rupp mix it up. Each player gets unsportmanlike conduct penalties. Don't expect that to be the end of the "extra" stuff. Four-on-four.
11:03: Derek MacKenzie flies up the right wing, winds up and cranks a slapper. Martin reaches out with his stick and gets a piece of it deflecting the puck out of play.
10:04: And the beating continues. Kunitz glides up the right wing on a two-on-one with Crosby against Methot. Methot looks kind of lost as Kunitz saucers a pass over his stick to Crosby. In one motion, Crosby whack it by the glove hand of a helpless Garon. So pretty. And Crosby is on the verge of another hat trick. Yikes. Kunitz and Letang get assists. Penguins 6-1.
9:17: Rupp and Boll leave the box and IMMEDIATELY go after one another. They circle around the red line then lock up whold holding one another off with their left hands. Each player lands a few long distance rights. Boll gets a left jab in. The fight ends with Rupp falling backwards with Boll on top. Give that one to Boll.
6:50: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
4:48: After a stagnant four minutes or so, Clark is robbed in tight by Fleury.
4:18: Vermette pounds a slapper from the right circle. Fleury boots it out.
3:02: Methot gains the offensive zone with speed and deals to Nash in the right circle. Nash distributes to Voracek rushing in off the right wing. Voracek chops a shot on net. Fleury is able to stretch to his left and punche it in.
1:41: When does the mercy rule come into play? Engelland collects a loose puck at the right point and cranks a slapper to the far side. Commodore is completely useless and stands right in front of Garon. It's a perfect screen as the puck sails by Garon's glove. Garon had no chance. The goal is unassisted. Commodore could claim one. Penguins 7-1.
1:31: "WE WANT 10! WE WANT 10!"
0:23: The comeback starts now. Adams is nabbed for holding. Talbot, Cooke, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 7, Blue Jackets 1.
(Worst intermission photo ever. Sorry.)
-This is unbelievable. We know both teams were heading in opposite directions coming into this game, but what a difference. This is like an NHL and AHL team playing each other.
-The Blue Jackets actually started the second period on the right foot but the hole just kept getting deeper on them.
-You have to wonder if players like Boll or Derek Dorsett will start gooning this up.
-The Penguins have three unassisted goals from defensemen.
-Penguins have a 29-17 lead in shots.
-Crosby leads the game with five.
-Vermette leads the Blue Jackets with three.
-Letang leads the game with 17:48 of ice time.
-Vermette leads the Blue Jackets with 12:53.
-The Penguins lead in faceoffs, 24-17 (59 percent).
-Adams is 6 for 8 (75 percent).
-Brassard is 5 for 10 (50 percent).
-Dupuis leads the game with three blocked shots.
20:00: The Blue Jackets will have 1:36 of power play time to work with on fresh ice. Talbot, Cooke, Orpik and Michalek take the ice.
18:54: The Blue Jackets make the power play count. Fedor Tyutin gains the zone on the right wing. Clark takes the puck off him and lifts a shot from the right circle. It appears to deflect off Letang and beats Fleury on the glove side. The Blue Jackets are still playing. Give them credit. Tyutin and Moreau get assists. Penguins 7-2.
15:10: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
12:40: Play has really gotten bogged down. Pahland snaps off a pedestrian wrister from the left circle. Fleury makes the easy save.
11:53: Nash whips a wrister on net from the right wing. Fleury eats it up.
11:05: Clark whips a loose puck on net from the right wing. Fleury is handcuffed by it a bit but freezes play. Engelland is called for elbowing Moreau. Michalek, Talbot, Orpik and Cooke take the ice.
9:27: Hejda cracks a one-timer from the right point. FLeury eats it up.
9:05: Michalek golfs a puck down ice for a clear and kills off the rest of Michalek's minor.
7:35: Nash rattles Kennedy and Goligoski with some solid hits in Columbus' zone.
7:10: Moreau, who has been Columbus' best player tonight, is denied in tight by Fleury.
6:58: The lengendary Rupp-Godard connection nearly hits again. Rupp controls the puck behind the Columbus net. He deals it in front to Godard. Before he can get a shot off, Commodore knocks him down. That's two minutes for high sticking. Rupp, Asham, Letang, Crosby and Martin take the ice.
5:45: Martin, looking for the hat trick, guns a slapper from the left wing wide on the near side.
4:58: The Commodore minor is killed.
4:41: Letestu has a clean chance down low but Nash makes a wonderful play to knock his stick off the puck.
3:41: A "LET'S GO PENS!" chant as loud as you've ever heard at the Civic Arena sporadically rains down.
1:00: With a minute left, Penguins fans offer a standing ovation for their team.
0:43: Kennedy cranks a slapper from above the right circle. Garon knocks it down and covers.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 7, Blue Jackets 2.
-It would be a stretch to say the idea of a Penguins rout was outlandish. The Penguins entered on an eight-game winning streak. The Blue Jackets a five-game losing streak. But this? This was, in the words of Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger, embarrassing.
-This was two teams heading in the exact opposite directions.
-You really can't nitpick, even in a positive sense, on what the Penguins did tonight. They simply got a complete team effort against a fragile opponent.
-Fleury was okay. He was hardly challenged, but he was okay.
-The power play was on fire, but the Blue Jackets really gave the Penguins a lot of breaks.
-When Eric Godard and Mike Rupp are connecting on goals, you know things are going well.
-Commodore on Crosby, "We don't see him much anymore, which is great. Thank God. He can stay in the east. We'll stay in the west. He's the best player in the league. It's got to be fun to watch. I know it's not fun for us to play against. The reason why he's the best player in the world - yeah he's talented, yeah's he's skilled but there's other guys who are just as talented and skilled as he is - but it's determination. It's determination on the puck. He never gives up on a puck. He works hard on the puck and that's why he's the best in the world."
-The Penguins led in shots, 35-23.
-Crosby led the game with six shots.
-Clark led the Blue Jackets with four.
-Letang led the game with 22:53 of ice time.
-Tyutin led the Blue Jackets with 21:21.
-The Penguins had a 29-26 lead in faceoffs (53 percent).
-Adams was 6 for 8 (75 percent).
-Vermette was 9 for 17 (53 percent).
-Martin led the game with four blocked shots.
-Methot led the Blue Jackets with two.
-Letang (105 points) moved past Duane Rupp (104), Andy Bathgate (103) and Dick Tarnstrom (103) for 73rd place on the team's all-time scoring list.
-Kennedy moved past Pascal Dupuis for 89th place. Both players have 90 points but Kennedy (43) has more goals than Dupuis (38).