Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 5:51 pm by Seth Rorabaugh
penguins-at-blue-jackets-04-23-14PREGAME   4:58: Nikitin crnks two big shot from the point wide of the cage. 4:45: A writer by Jenner from the left circle is denied. 4:26:  Nikitin rips a wrister form the high slot. Fleury fights it off. 3:09: A wrister by Johasen form the slot is wide of the cage. 2:23: After an offensive zone turnover by  Malkin, Cavlert gets ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 4:44 pm by Doug Oster
don-t-leave-tender-plants-out-tonight-but-don-t-worry-about-othersPansies laugh at 30 degrees, basil and houseplants need to come inside when it gets cold along with other plants. Photo by Doug Oster I've been inundated with questions about what to do with plants when temperatures are predicted to drop below 30. Anything tender like basil, or houseplants should be covered or brought back inside. It's way too early ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 3:30 pm by Seth Rorabaugh
about-the-blue-jackets-game-4-04-23-14A preview of the Blue Jackets. When and where: 7 p.m., EDT. Nationwide Arena. TV: Root Sports (Pittsburgh market), Fox Sports Ohio (Columbus market), NBC Sports Network (Rest of the United States), CBC, RDS. Leading postseason scorer: Jack Johnson, 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist). Last Game: 4-3 home loss in Game 3. Brandon Dubinsky had two assists ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 2:09 pm by Barbara Vancheri
cinegrille-film-and-food-opens-at-latitude-in-north-fayette    A breathy Marilyn Monroe and screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” helped to mark the grand opening of CineGrille in North Fayette today.   It’s an 85-person movie theater with wait staff serving food and beverages to patrons at their seats at Latitude 40.    The entertainment center at The Pointe at North Fayette ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 1:40 pm by Seth Rorabaugh
stempniak-it-s-fun-to-have-those-expectations-04-23-14  If any one player is emblematic of how the Penguins roller coaster of a first-round series has gone, it's Lee Stempniak. In the first overtime period of Game 2 Saturday, Stempniak had a chance off a rebound to score a would-be game-trying goal but failed to get a clean shot off. The Blue Jackets scored in the second overtime period to claim ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 1:26 pm by Diana Nelson Jones
a-call-to-conscience-for-gentrifiers      Daniel Hertz, writing in the Atlantic Cities today, provides an excellent work of thought-food for those who talk about gentrification as if it is either a good thing or a bad thing.   It is, he writes, inevitable whether you move your educated, moneyed self to a poor neighborhood or a rich neighborhood.   If you ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:31 am by Elizabeth Bloom
details-of-pso-s-upcoming-wilkinsburg-community-concertThe Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform its community concert at Wilkinsburg High School on May 16. Details of the performance have been released. From the PSO: PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents the 11th Annual Community Engagement Concert for the community of Wilkinsburg on Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at Wilkinsburg High ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:14 am by Stephen J. Nesbitt
west-virginia-reveals-post-spring-depth-chart West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen released his post-spring depth chart Wednesday morning. There were few true surprises — Clint Trickett is top QB, Dreamius Smith is top RB — but it's always interesting to see the full listing. New players, or at least ones you didn't see in 2013, are italicized.OFFENSE WR (X): Mario Alford, ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 8:40 am by Jon Schmitz
campaign-ad-s-false-claim-about-gasoline-tax-increaseState Rep. Harry Readshaw is taking heat for a campaign ad that denounces the state’s new transportation funding bill. The ad says Mr. Readshaw opposed Gov. Tom Corbett’s “massive gas tax increase” that pays for Philadelphia transit. In truth, the gasoline tax restructuring that was part of the bill is paying for road and bridge improvements. Under the ... Read More and Comment
Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 9:20 am by Seth Rorabaugh
empty-netter-assists-04-23-14Playoff StuffPenguins - Blue Jackets -Welcome back Brian Gibbons (above) and Marcel Goc ... to an optional skate. -“We seemed more organized. We created momentum instead of giving it up.” - Matt Niskanen on the team's power play in Game 3. -"We asked [Marc-Andre Fleury] to shut the door, and he did. He gave us a chance to win.” - Lee Stempniak on ... Read More and Comment
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 11:01 pm by Barbara Vancheri
foxcatcher-gets-november-date Sony Pictures Classics will release “Foxcatcher” on Nov. 14. The movie, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It was filmed in Western Pennsylvania in 2012. Bennett Miller (“Capote,” “Moneyball”) directs the movie about John du Pont, great-great-grandson of E.I. du Pont, the ... Read More and Comment
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 6:26 pm by Seth Rorabaugh
johnson-i-haven-t-had-a-pittsburgh-guy-around-me-04-22-14 Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has made some history in his team's first round series with the Penguins when he tied an NHL record for consecutive games with a goal by defensemen to start a postseason. What has made Johnson's goals unique is that they've all come from a relatively close distance from the cage. When asked about his short ... Read More and Comment
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 5:33 pm by John Hayes
post-gazette-trout-photo-contestSubmit your trout photos at fishingreport@post-gazette.com. Include name, age (for minors), town, trout species, where caught, bait, optional details of the catch and the photographer's name and town. MacKenzie Crispin, 11, of Latrobe, caught her trout on a live minnow April 19 at Twin Lakes, Greensburg.   15-inch tiger trout caught on the ... Read More and Comment
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 5:12 pm by Mike White
more-on-johnson-and-pitt-norwin-s-hit-parade-other-notesItems that fell off the laptop Our Lady of the Sacred Heart basketball player Cameron Johnson signed with Pitt yesterday. It was a move that surprised many because Pitt didn't start recruiting Johnson much until a month ago. Also, Johnson was offered scholarships mostly from mid-major schools. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon offered Johnson a scholarship ... Read More and Comment
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 4:03 pm by A Pittsblogher
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Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:00 am by Rob Rogers
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Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 1:38 pm by Elizabeth Bloom
senior-leadership-changes-at-pittsburgh-operaPittsburgh Opera just announced a new director of development. More from the press release: Pittsburgh, PA... Pittsburgh Opera announces a change in senior leadership with the appointment of Cynthia N. McCormick to the position of Director of Development and External Relations, effective June 1, 2014. Ms. McCormick steps into the position held by John ... Read More and Comment
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:57 pm by Seth Rorabaugh
umberger-not-just-happy-to-be-here-04-22-14  Every NHL team's media guide has a section towards the back labeled simply, "Playoffs." Some teams such as the "Original" Six franchises have to cram in upwards of a century of data into this section. Prior to this season, the Blue Jackets had all of four games to chronicle. In 2009, the Blue Jackets, under head coach Ken Hitchcock reached ... Read More and Comment
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:32 pm by Sam Werner
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Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 11:53 am by Doug Oster
praying-mantis-egg-case-found-on-earth-dayThis praying mantis egg case was found during Earth Day planting at the Fort Pitt Blockhouse in Point State Park. Post-Gazette photo by Bob Donaldson Interim Penn State Master Gardener Coordinator Philip Bauerle found this Praying Mantis egg case among the branches of a foethergilla shrub along the fence of the Fort Pitt Blockhouse during the Earth ... Read More and Comment
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Penguins at Blue Jackets - 04-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

-One of the good things about covering a playoff series at home and on the road is getting to know the other team a little bit better. During a regular season, you pretty much only get to interview another team's players at the morning skate and after the game and usually, the interviews are limited to immediate concerns involving that night's game. Occasionally, a team will come in a day early and you can talk to them a day before a game but those are rare. During a playoff series, you interact with these players upwards of two weeks. You find out who are the good and not-so-good quotes on that team.

-Last postseason, for a variety of reasons, we enjoyed found defensemen on the other teams to be good quotes. For the Islanders, it was Travis Hamonic. For the Senators, it was Marc Methot. And for the Bruins, it was Andrew Ference. This year, it has clearly been Jack Johnson.

-Johnson has caused a bit of a stir with comments such as saying about how the Penguins were nothing special and his comment about how the Penguins haven't been covering him on his goals. Some have seen it as trash talk or bulletin board material. In every instance we've talked with Johnson, he hasn't come off someone offering inflammatory comments for the sake of shock value. He strikes us as a pretty mellow matter-of-fact kind of guy.

-The Calder Trophy finalists were named today. Forward Nathan MacKinnon of the Avalanche as well as Lightning forwards Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson are three top vote getters. Olli Maatta was not one of them. It's pretty simple to see why. Maatta's a defenseman and generally speaking, defensemen don't put up big numbers which voters usually look at. Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm had a very solid season as well and could have merited consideration. Last season, Jonas Brodin had a fantastic season for the Wild but didn't get a sniff at the award.

-The only way defensemen really ever get consideration is if it is a lean year for forwards. Unfortunately for Olli Maatta, he made his NHL debut in a season when a player of MacKinnon's stature started his career as well.

-It will be interesting to see how quickly the lines get shifted around tonight for the Penguins. We can't imagine the Blue Jackets will have the same intensity to start this game as they did in Game 3. The crowd at Nationwide will be bonkers tonight once again but it won't quite be at the same level as it was for Game 3. It never will be. That was a pretty special crowd. Even if it's one level down, it's still not going to be the same as what went on in this building Monday. The Blue Jackets won't have quite the same jump and that only benefits the Penguins.

-The Penguins worked the same power-play unite of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Matt Niskanen and Paul Martin today. We're not sure if any sort of tactical changes to that units approach were made. Regardless, the Penguins need it to change in terms of success. Life will be a lot easier with a successful power play.

-We're not sure how long it will be utilized, but the third line of Beau Bennett, Brandon Sutter and Jayson Megna which worked out this morning is a bit intriguing.

-Rob Scuderi only got 13:44: of ice time in Game 3 and coincidentally, that was his best game of the series. Part of that was dictated by the Penguins having a ton of power plays early in the game as well as an early deficit. Part of that was probably dictated by his level of play which hasn't been good much of the series.

-Fedor Tyutin could have helped the Blue Jackets defend their lead in Game 3. He is their Paul Martin. He might not put up huge numbers but he has a calming presence where he can settle things down for his teammates and make the right play in most situations.

-A few sights. The barn:

-We really enjoy the arena around the Arena. Columbus is a typical midwest city in that it's a pretty generic grid for how the city is laid out and everything is pretty spread out. There is plenty of green space in this city as well. With most of the trees finally blooming, it's a pretty sight:

-Near the front of Nationwide Arena, there is this quaint walkway lined with bars, restaurants and living spaces:

-Someday soon, hopefully Fifth Avenue and the Civic Arena site can blossom like this.

-Fans were lined up this morning for gameday ticket sales:

-There are a few 412ers here. Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby:

-Marc-Andre Fleury:

-And Miroslav Satan:

-The always rare Luke Richardson/Marc Denis combination:

-And we always have room in our hearts for a Geoff Sanderson fan:

-The ice:

-The signs being distributed tonight are double-sided:

-David Vyborny:

-Derek Dorsett:

-Nikolay Zherdev:

-Duvie Westcott:

-Fans entering the barn:

-The goal cannon:

-Like at Consol Energy Center, there is a display for a lot of the local youth team jerseys:

-There is a pretty neat marker in the main concourse nothing how far away center ice is:

-There are a few more Penguins fans on hand tonight than in comparison to Game 3 but it's still nothing like a regular season game where tons of Penguins fans show up. Kris Letang:

-Jordan Staal:

-Evgeni Malkin:

-Brooks Orpik:

-Jaromir Jagr:

-Pascal Dupuis:

 

-Sergei Fedorov:

-Espen Knutsen:

 

-There are two Ron Tugnutt fans on hand tonight:

-Jersey of the Night: Mark Letestu Penguins:

-Warmups:

-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Lee Stempniak, Kris Letang, Rob Scuderi and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Chris Conner, Deryk Engelland, Brian Gibbons, Marcel Goc, Taylor Pyatt and Tomas Vokoun.

-The Blue Jackets' starters are Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson, David Savard and Sergei Bobrovsky.

-Their scratches are Jared Boll, Matt Frattin, Nathan Horton, Ryan Murray, Jeremy Smith, Corey Tropp and Fedor Tyutin.

-Murray's scratch contradicts head coach Todd Richards claim this morning he would have the same lineup. Nick Schultz will replace him.

-The national anthem:

FIRST PERIOD

19:50: Almost immediately, "C-B-J!" chants rain down.

19:25: Recovering a puck dumped into his own left wing corner, Scuderi absorbs a solid hit into the boards by Dubinsky.

18:39: A wrister by Nikita Nikitin is wide of the net.

17:34: Glass chucks a wrister on net from the left wing. Bobrovsky snags it.

17:23: Battling for a puck in the Columbus' left wing corner, Crosby is walloped to the ice by his friend Johnson.

17:11: A wrister by Crosby from the slot is deflected out of play by Savard.

15:58: Taking a pass at his own right point, Bennett is smacked pretty good by Dalton Prout.

15:26: Letang throws Derek MacKenzie with a big hit on the Penguins' left wing wall.

15:19: A backhander by Stempniak from the left circle is kicked out by Bobrovsky's left skate.

14:02: Ryan Johansen snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Fleury kicks it out. Jenner follows up on the rebound and crashes into Fleury dislodging the net. A scrum breaks out. Officials break it up. Jussi Jokinen is called for hooking. He was backchecking Jenner on the play and tied him up. Sutter, Craig Adams, Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik take the ice.

13:51: Craig Adams. Goal scorer. After James Wisniewski fails to keep a puck in at the left point, Sutter jumps on and races through the neutral zone. He draws in two defenders and backhands a pass to Adams on the right wing. Adams grips and rips a wrister by Bobrovsky's blocker on the far side. What a shot from an unlikely source. Give credit to Sutter for setting up the chance as well. Sutter and Martin get assists. Penguins 1-0.

12:50: Artem Anisimov rips a wrister form the right circle wide to the far side.

12:02: Jokinen's minor is killed. That was a strong kill for the Penguins.

12:13: David Savard chops a slapper from the center point which is blocked by the great Joe Vitale.

12:08: Calvert booms a slapper from the high slot over the cage.

11:38: Crosby weaves his way into the offensive zone and rips a shot only to have his stick break and the puck deflected out of play.

9:27: Battling for a puck in the Penguins' right wing corner, MacKenzie slams Scuderi into the boards. That's two minutes for roughing. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Martin and Niskanne take the ice.

9:23: The Penguins waste little time with the power play. Crosby wins the faceoff in the left circle to Martin at the left point. Martin slides a pass to Niskanen at the right point. Niskanen winds up and chops a slapper at the net. Kunitz in front and appears to deflect it behind Bobrovsky. Kunitz gets credit for the score. Niskanen and Martin get assists. Penguins 2-0.

8:50: The levy has broken. Taking a pass from Malkin in the slot, Jokinen fumbles the puck for a moment but recovers it and taps a backhanded pass to Neal in the right circle. In one motion, Neal swipes a one-timer behind Bobrovsky and into the twine. The Blue Jackets call a timeout to get organized. Jokinen and Neal get assists. A solid showing of Penguins fans have had plenty to cheer about already. Penguins 3-0.

7:30: Defiantly, Blue Jackets fans continue to chant "C-B-J!"

6:58: Wisniewski chucks a wrister from the right point hoping for a re-direction. MacKenzie is there but sends the puck wide.

6:10:  Maatta tries to play a puck out of midair from his own blue line but loses it. Anisimov pressures him and steals the puck. As Maatta falls, play is blow dead and Anisimov is called for holding? What an awful call. Malkin, Crosby, Kunitz, Martin and Niskanen take the ice.

6:01: Niskanen chops a slapper from the right point. It hits a stick and deflects out of play.

5:34: Malkin tries to set up Martin with a version of the "Whitney Play" but Martin taps a puck from the left cicle wide of the cage on the near side.

5:12: More penalties. as Kunitz controls the puck in the left wing corner and is slashed by Savard. Kunitz falls to his knees. Savard is sent off for slashing while Kunitz gets an embellishment minor. They are offsetting minors and play will remain five on four.

4:57: A wrister by Letestu from the left circle is fought off by Fleury.

4:45: The Blue Jacket get one back. Neal is called for interference against Wisniewski in the Columbus left wing corner. We'll see four-on-four play for 35 seconds.

4:10: Anisimov's minor is killed. The Blue Jackets will have 1:25 of a power play time

3:55: Anismov rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury snags it and swats the puck away with his stick.

3:21: The Blue Jackets cash in. Taking a pass from Wisnieski in the high slot, Letesut rips a wrister. It hits off Jenner aboe the blue pain and hops over Fleury. The Blue Jackets needed his baldy. It bring some ive back to the building and give the Blue Jackets some hope. The dreaded 3-1 lead is in place. Letestu and Wisniewski get assists. Fire Ray Shero. The cannon goes off. Penguins 3-1.

1:00: Kunitz gets thumped pretty good by Johnson at the Columbus blue line in front of the Blue Jackets bench.

0:41: Calvert chops a slapper from the right point. Fleury kicks it out despite traffic.

0:14: Umberger lifts a wrister from the right circle. Fleury knocks it dead and smother.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 1.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-That was ... interesting. Actually, it was par for the course for how this series has gone. One team jumped out to a roaring start while the other salvaged something late. This game is far from over.

-Evgeni Malkin has some hop in his step tonight. He's skating with power and bulling his way through defenders.

-The Blue Jackets are doing a wonderful job of getting bodies to the Penguins' net. Fleury has someone in a blue jersey in his grill on almost every shot.

-The Blue Jackets lead in shots on net, 14-11.

-Attempted shots are even, 20-20.

-Johnson leads the game with 9:50 of ice time.

-Martin leads the Penguins with 8:34.

-The Blue Jackets have a 13-12 lead in faceoffs (52 percent).

-Crosby is 7 for 7 (100 percent).

-Anisimov is 4 for 6 (67 percent).

-Martin, Johnson and Savard each lead the game with two blocked shots.

SECOND PERIOD

19:42: Kunitz rattles Savard with a solid hit in the Blue Jackets' left wing corner.

19:34: Crosby lifts a wrister from the high slot. Bobrovsky eats it up.

19:13: A wrister by Johansen from the left circle is blocked out of play by Martin.

17:50: Savard tries to carry a puck through the neutral zone and is thumped down by Kunitz.

17:11: Nikitin chops a shot from center point. It gets deflected out of play.

16:47: Taking a drop pass at the right half wall, Wisniewski steps up and pounds a one-timer on net. Fleury kicks it out.

16:37: Neal snaps off a low wrister from the left circle. Bobrovsky eats it up.

15:09: In tight in the left circle Johnson rips a wrister which Fleury fights off.

14:38: Dubinsky collects a loose puck above the right circle and chucks a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off.

13:35: Nikitin chops a slapper from the left point wide on the near side.

13:23: Wisniewski winds up with a big slapper from the center point and lets loose. Malkin leans down to block it. Oof.

12:50: Savard chucks a wrister from the right point. Fleury denies it despite traffic.

11:18: Letang chops a slapper from the right point. It hits a body and Bobrovsky snags it. Prout is called for high sticking Bennett. Niskanen, Martin, Malkin, Crosby and Kunitz take the ice.

10:47: Malkin feeds a pass from the right circle to the slot. Crosby streaks through the slot and taps it wide.

9:55: Niskanen chops a slapper from the right half wall which is blocked.

9:24: Short-handed, Nikitin chucks a wrister from the left point. Fleury snags it.

9:18: Prout's minor is killed. The Penguins looked pretty inept with that chance.

8:07: The Blue Jackets will get another power play as Stempniak is called for high sticking Schultz in front of the Penguins' penalty box. He drew some blood so it's a double minor. Martin, Orpik, Sutter and Adams take the ice for a big penalty kill.

7:17: Off a turnoverr by Letang, Johnson chops a one-timer off the right half wall. Fleury kicks it out.

6:45: Kunitz gets a shift on the penalty kill. He tries to push the puck into the offensive zone and is stood up by Wisniewski. Kunitz slams him to the ice but loses the puck.

6:24: The hole gets deeper for the penguins as Sutter is called for delay of game after playing a puck of play from his own zone. The Penguins protest vehemently but no avail. The Blue Jackets will have a two man advantage for a full two minutes. Oof. Adams, Glass and Orpik take the ice.

6:10: A one-timer by Johanson from the left circle is fought off by Fleury

5:57: Wisniewski blows a one-timer from the high slot wide of the cage.

5:40: The Blue Jackets cash in. Dubinsky control a puck to the right of the cage down low. He is able to sneak a pass by a kneeling Orpik into the crease. Anismov gets a stick on the puck then Johansen is able to tuck it into the cage. The Blue Jackets almost couldn't help but score there. They will have 1:35 remaining on a one-man advantage. Anisimov and Dubinsky get assists. The cannon goes off. Penguins 3-2.

 

 

4:58: Nikitin crnks two big shot from the point wide of the cage.

4:45: A writer by Jenner from the left circle is denied.

4:26:  Nikitin rips a wrister form the high slot. Fleury fights it off.

3:09: A wrister by Johasen form the slot is wide of the cage.

2:23: After an offensive zone turnover by  Malkin, Cavlert gets a chance from the left wing off a three-on-two. He rips a wrister which Fleury fights off.

2:00: Another penalty for the Penguins. Niskanen is called for tripping Dubinsky in the Penguins' zone. Crosby, Adams, Martin and Orpik take the ice.

1:50: Short-handed, Crosby lifts a wrister from the right circle. Bobrovsky eats it up.

0:12: Wisniewski chops a shot from the high slot wide of the cage.

0:01: Atkinson has a chance to the right of the cage in tight but fans on the shot. Argh. That was close.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 2.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The Penguins hung on for dear life for that period. The Blue jackets had the majority of puck possession and controlled things in the Penguins' zone.

-Fleury bailed the Penguins out a few times there. He's been sharp tonight.

-Bobrovsky wasn't nearly as shaky there as he was in the first period. He has leveled off.

-Crosby's decisions with the puck continue to be puzzling.

-Nikitin has been pressed into a bigger role with the absences of Murray and Tyutin. As a result, he's shooting everything. He's a bit of a wild shot though. Not many are getting on net.

-The Blue Jackets lead in shots on net, 32-17.

-The Penguins have a 55-30 lead in attempted shots.

-Wisniewski leads the game with seven shots.

-Kunitz leads the Penguins with four shots.

-The Penguins have a 25-20 lead in faceoffs (56 percent).

-Crosby is 12 for 13 (92 percent).

-Johansen is 6 for 10 (60 percent).

-Scuderi, Martin and Savard each lead the game with three shots.

THIRD PERIOD

19:50: Off a turnover by Letang from behind his own net, Dubinsky chucks a wrister on net from the right circle. Fleury eats it up.

17:36: Bennett hustles after a puck in at the red line and is stood up by Prout who drops him on his backside HARD. Oof.

16:46: Calvert fires a spinning one-time from the high slot. It changes direction once or twice before hitting Fleury's left leg.

16:40: Johnson pounds a slapper from the left point. It hits something and Fleury lunges out to smother it.

15:01: Jokinen snaps off a wrister from deep on the right wing. Bobrovsky kicks it out.

 

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About the Blue Jackets - Game 4 - 04-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Blue Jackets.

When and where: 7 p.m., EDT. Nationwide Arena.

TV: Root Sports (Pittsburgh market), Fox Sports Ohio (Columbus market), NBC Sports Network (Rest of the United States), CBC, RDS.

Leading postseason scorer: Jack Johnson, 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist).

Last Game: 4-3 home loss in Game 3. Brandon Dubinsky had two assists for the Blue Jackets.

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (2-1, 2.98 GAA, .899 SV%) for the Penguins. Sergei Bobrovsky (1-2, 3.32 GAA, .904 SV%) for the Blue Jackets.

Injuries: For the Penguins, center Brian Gibbons (suspected shoulder) is doubtful. Center Marcel Goc (ankle) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) are out. Right winger Pascal Dupuis (knee) are on injured reserve. For the Blue Jackets, right winger Nathan Horton (abdominal) and defenseman Fedor Tyutin are out.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins primary lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby -22 Lee Stempniak
36 Jussi Jokinen - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 18 James Neal
59 Jayson Megna - 16 Brandon Sutter - 19 Beau Bennett
15 Tanner Glass - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams

7 Paul Martin - 44 Brooks Orpik
4 Rob Scuderi - 58 Kris Letang
2 Matt Niskanen - 3 Olli Maatta

-The Blue Jackets primary lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

38 Boone Jenner - 19 Ryan Johansen - 5 Jack Skille
11 Matt Calvert - 17 Brandon Dubinsky - 13 Cam Atkinson
18 R.J. Umberger - 42 Artem Anisimov - 71 Nick Foligno
 26 Derek MacKenzie - 55 Mark Letestu - 14 Blake Comeau

58 David Savard - 7 Jack Johnson
27 Ryan Murray - 21 James Wisniewski (above)
6 Nikita Nikitin - 47 Dalton Prout

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played this Blue Jackets, this happened:

-Right winger Chris Conner (foot) was activated from injured reserve.

-Gibbons did not participate in the morning skate. Goc did.

-"It's fun to have those expectations." - Lee Stempniak on being part of a Stanley Cup contending team.

-Tyutin did not participate in the morning skate.

-The referees are Gord Dwyer (No. 19) and Dan O'Halloran (No. 13). The linesmen are Bryan Pancich (No. 94) and Jay Sharrers (No. 57).

-Our live blog, direct from the capital of the Buckeye State, begins at approximately 6 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: John Grieshop/Getty Images)

 

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Stempniak: 'It’s fun to have those expectations' - 04-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

 

If any one player is emblematic of how the Penguins roller coaster of a first-round series has gone, it's Lee Stempniak.

In the first overtime period of Game 2 Saturday, Stempniak had a chance off a rebound to score a would-be game-trying goal but failed to get a clean shot off. The Blue Jackets scored in the second overtime period to claim a 4-3 win.

Monday, with his team trailing 3-2, Stempniak ripped a wrister by Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky's left shoulder on the near side from the right wing. In between those extremes, Stempniak has worked on the team's first line and the third line. At today's morning skate, he worked on the first line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

Recently, Stempniak talked about his experiences in the series thus far:

You expressed regret on not scoring a goal in overtime of Game 2 off a rebound. What did it feel like to score the game-tying goal in Game 3 in contrast?

"It feels good to finally score in the playoffs. It was my first career goal and to score a goal in a key situation is good. I guess you sort of look at [Game 2] and wish you would have scored it. But I sort of moved on from that already. You have to move on from game to game. It definitely felt great to get that goal but I don’t feel like it’s vindication for what happen in Game 2."

Describe the the non-goal in Game 2.

"It was a good shot from [Sidney Crosby] and the rebound the rebound came to me. Just a bang-bang play. I just tried to get it over his pad to the far side and I think he got his blocker on."

And the goal in Game 3?

"It was a nice pass from Chris [Kunitz]. He made a nice pass to put it through. It was sort of a short two-on-one with Kris Letang on the left side. I looked to see if there was a pass there and I looked him off. I was able to shot short side."

You've played in the playoffs before but not on a team with championship expectations like the Penguins. How new is this for you?

"I’ve only been in the playoffs two times. It’s definitely a different set of expectations being in Pittsburgh. It’s fun to have those expectations and be a team that’s looked at to compete for the Stanley Cup. We’re a team that believes it can win the Stanley Cup. You really enjoy those expectations and the challenge that comes with it. It’s been fun. It’s been a pretty crazy series so far with changes and giving up leads. It’s fun. I can’t wait for Game 4."

You've played on the first and third lines in his series thus far. How much of an adjustment is there in going between lines during games?

"Probably a little bit less than you would think. Obviously with Sid and Chris, they look to score I think off the rush more. They’re great players in the offensive zone on the forecheck, especially Sid. He’s able to beat guys in the corners and behind the net using his strength and skating. Playing, with Brandon [Sutter], …. We’re going to be good defensively, get pucks out and really try to generate offense from working on the cycles, the forecheck and getting bodies to the net. I think the differences in those situations in the playoffs are sort of minimized. Whatever line you’re one, first line to fourth line, everyone is looking to get pucks to net, bodies to the net and score goals that way. I think it’s less of an adjustment than most people think."

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

 

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Empty Netter Assists - 04-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Blue Jackets

-Welcome back Brian Gibbons (above) and Marcel Goc ... to an optional skate.

-“We seemed more organized. We created momentum instead of giving it up.” - Matt Niskanen on the team's power play in Game 3.

-"We asked [Marc-Andre Fleury] to shut the door, and he did. He gave us a chance to win.” - Lee Stempniak on Marc-Andre Fleury on Fleury in Game 3.

-“Everybody knows his story. He tried really hard to figure out a way to not put himself in those situations. Unfortunately, when you throw a lot of hits and the game is fast-paced, sometimes that happens and you have to take responsibility for it and live with whatever the consequences are.” - Craig Adams on Wild forward and former Penguins teammate Matt Cooke injuring Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie with a knee-on-knee hit Monday. Cooke is facing a potential suspension.

-Rob Scuderi speaks:

-Jayson Megna speaks:

-Why have all of the goals scored by Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson been scored near the Penguins' cage? "I haven’t had a Pittsburgh guy around me which has been pretty nice."

-"We want to win the Stanley Cup. That’s our main goal. It’s not just happy to be here. We expect to give this team everything we got." - Blue Jackets foward and Plum native (No, really!) R.J. Umberger.

-“It shows we can play with these guys, absolutely. But the fact that we’ve let two two-goal leads slip away means we need to do a better job of putting them away." - Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski on his teams surrendering 3-1 leads in each of his team's losses this series.

-Has Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky been taunting the Penguins?

-After the Jump: Dan Carcillo gets some revenge on the Flyers while the Canadiens sweep the Lightning.

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Johnson: 'I haven’t had a Pittsburgh guy around me ' - 04-22-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has made some history in his team's first round series with the Penguins when he tied an NHL record for consecutive games with a goal by defensemen to start a postseason.

What has made Johnson's goals unique is that they've all come from a relatively close distance from the cage. When asked about his short distance scoring today, Johnson said:

"I definitely like jumping into the play. I think a lot of it has been people leaving me wide open. Usually I don’t get left that wide open coming the last couple of games. I haven’t had a Pittsburgh guy around me which has been pretty nice. Usually teams are very aware of where the other team’s [defensemen] are so they can’t jump in. Like I said, it’s been a little bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time."

Johnson is the seventh defenseman to score three or more goals in a postseason series against the Penguins:

Player, Team Postseason Games Goals
Andy Delmore, Flyers 2000 6 5
Al Iafrate, Capitals 1992 7 4
Ray Bourque, Bruins 1991 6 4
Calle Johansson, Capitals 1995 7 3
Jack Johnson, Blue Jackets 2014 3 3
Brian Leetch, Rangers 1989 4 3
Brian Rafalski, Devils 2001 5 3

(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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