-During the second period of Wednesday's Game 2, Brian Gibbons had a shift on the penalty kill where he stole a puck and instead of just firing it down ice to kill a little bit of time and to get a line change, he skated around in the neutral zone with the puck for something around 15 or 20 seconds and basically kept it away from the Blue Jackets.
-To use hockey parlance, that is called "ragging the puck." Dan Bylsma explained the tactic after today's morning skate:
"It doesn’t happen all that much that you have to rag it. But when you have the opportunity to be able to hold the puck, take it back, have your [defensemen] hold on to it and waste some time. To me, that’s a huge disruption to a power play. And it’s frustrating. If you can hold on to the puck and rag it, they get restless, the power play guys get restless. It’s just not an opportunity that presents itself a lot. You’re looking for 20-second shifts to 30-second shifts on your [penalty kill] so you don’t want to get stuck out by going up the ice into the offensive zone or holding on to it too long and get stuck out for a minute [penalty kill] shift. You’re trying to roll them over so you don’t always roll them over. Brian did a great job. He got out there at the beginning of the shifts. He got the puck and ragged it. I thought it was a momentum-builder for our team."
-The Blue Jackets will be getting a key player back in the lineup tonight as R.J. Umberger returns to the lineup after missing Game 1 due to an "upper-body" injury. Umberger isn't the player he once was. He's strictly a bottom-six player these days and even then, he was a healthy scratch late in the regular season. But he's one of the few players on this Blue Jackets roster with any sort of playoff acumen among active players with a minimum of 20 career postseason games, Umberger has the second best goals-per-game average in the NHL:
|Player, Current team||Games Played||Goals||Goals Per Game|
|Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs||22||13||0.59|
|R.J. Umberger, Blue Jackets||26||14||0.54|
|Mike Cammalleri, Flames||32||17||0.53|
|Alex Ovechkin, Capitals||58||31||0.53|
|Sean Bergenheim, Panthers||23||12||0.52|
|Martin St. Louis, Rangers||64||33||0.52|
|Sidney Crosby, Penguins||83||40||0.48|
|Jarome Iginla, Flames||70||32||0.46|
|Daniel Briere, Canadiens||110||50||0.45|
|Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings||123||55||0.45|
-We spotted this van with a playoff "countdown" written on the back:
-A few sights. The barn:
-We always seem to run into a Craig Adams fan:
-Another No. 27, Alex Alexei Kovalev:
-Beau Bennett Wilkes-Barre/Scranton:
-Fans entering the barn:
-There are a lot of Blue Jackets fans here. Jack Johnson:
-Some Czech playoff heros. Petr Sykora:
-And Jaromir Jagr:
-This Phil Bourque fan may have Phil Bourque's actual helmet:
-Jersey of the Night: Scott Lachance Blue Jackets:
-The Penguins' starters are Brian Gibbons, Brandon Sutter, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Rob Scuderi and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Deryk Engelland, Marcel Goc, Jayson Megna, Taylor Pyatt and Tomas Vokoun.
-The Blue Jackets' starters are Blake Comeau, Brandon Dubinsky, R.J. Umberger, Ryan Murray, James Wisniewski and Sergei Bobrovsky.
-Their scratches are Jared Boll, Nick Foligno, Matt Frattin, Nathan Horton, Dalton Prout, Nick Schultz and Jeremy Smith.
-Jeff Jimerson is ready:
19:14: Crosby races th epuck in to the offensive zone, spins off the right half wall and zips a pass to Martin racing down the slot. Martin is knocked to the ice by Matt Calvert.
18:50: Off a feed by Crosby, Kunitz chops a one-timer from the left circle. Bobrovsky snags it. Bennett was skating with Crosby and Kunitz that shift.
17:44: After Adams slams xx into the left half wall, Scuderi pounds a slapper from the right point. Bobrovsky fights it off.
17:30: Bennett is back with Sutter and Lee Stempniak.
16:30: The Penguins get a little lucky and cash in. Kunitz chips a puck up the left wing from his own zone to Crosby. Crosby chases the puckd won int he offensive zone and as he approaches the net, he loses it for a moment. He recovers it an veers behind the net, he circles around deals a fairly weak feed to Niskanne at the left point. Niskanen has to move up a bit and sort of just chops it at the cage. Gibbons is above the crease and deflects the puck with his body by the glove hand of Bobrovsky. Gibbons gets the goal. It's his first career postseason goal. Niskanen and Crosby get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
16:10: Off a cross-ice feed by Neal, Malkin lifts a heavy wrister on net from the left wing. Bobrovsky snags it.
15:55: The Penguins are allover the blue Jackets. Craig Adams whips a wrister from the left hlaf wall. It hits a body in front. The great Joe Vitale is all over the rebound and chops it on net. Bobrovsky kicks it out.
15:52: The great Joe Vitale does something not so great as he runs into Bobrovsky and dislodges the net. That's two minutes for interference. That could snuff out all this early momentum for the Penguins. Gibbons, Sutter Martin and Brooks Orpik take the ice.
15:36: Brian Gibbons is on fire. Martin chucks a puck from deep in his own zone to the blue line. James Wisniewski fails to keep it in the zone and allows it to trickle by him. Gibbons just takes off and races by Wisniewski to create his own breakaway. He approaches the net, goes backhand to forehand, holds up for a moment and tucks the puck by the right skate of Bobrovsky. What a sneaky move. Martin and Orpik get assists. The "Hey Song" is double shifted. Penguins 2-0.
14:59: A slapper by Savard from center point is just off the mark.
14:51: This game is off to a wild start. Johansen wides up and cranks a slapper from above the left cicle. It Sneak under the blocker of Fleury on the far side and sneaks just inside the far post. What a shot! We're not sure if Fleury was screened on that or not. Savard and Murray get assists. Penguins 2-1.
13:31: In deep on the left wing, Orpik lifts a wrister with Bobrovsky kicks out.
13:26: Martin chops a one-timer from center point. Bobrovsky snags it.
12:41: Boone Jenner rips a wrister from the right circle. Martin flops down to block it.
12:33: Letang sneaks a wrister from the right half wall on net. Bobrovsky steers it away despite traffic.
12:05: Kunitz has a wrister from the right circle blocked.
10:50: A wrister by Olli Maatta from the high slot is blocked.
9:47: Jussi Jokinen pushes the puck up the right wing and chucks it on net. Bobrovsky snags it.
8:52: Gibbons went down the runway after a collision behind the Columbus net.
7:50: The great Joe Vitale slams Wisniewski to the ice with a hard hit in the Blue Jackets' right corner.
6:59: Brandon Dubinsky tries to rattle Crosby's cage with a few rambunctious hits in the Blue Jackets' right wing corner. Crosby ignores him for the most part. Fedor Tyutin joins the fray and ends up holding Crosby. That's two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz and Niskanen take the ice.
6:03: A wrister by Neal left circle is fought off by Bobrovsky.
5:45: A one-timer by Malkin from the right point is blocked by Artem Anisimov.
5:18: A low wrister by Malkin from the right circle is kicked out by Bobrovsky.
4:59: Tyutin's minor is killed with minimal threat from the Penguins.
4:44: After a poor pass by Letang from his own left wing corner is stolen by Jack Skille, Skille rockets a slapper from the right circle. Fleury kicks it out.
3:19: A slapper by Niskanen from the right point is blocked.
3:07: Dubinsky swoops behind the net from the left of the cage and tries to tuck in a forehand wraparound. Fleury holds it out with his left skate. Afterwards, Dubinsky gives Adams a slash on the arm. That's two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz and Niskanen take the ice.
2:08: Matt Niskanen cashes in. Crosby backhands a pass from the left half wall to Martin above the left circle. Martin sort of misses the puck and allows it to slide to Niskanen at the right point. Niskanen winds up and tees off on a rising slapper which sails by Bobrovsky on the far side. Martin and Crosby get assists. That has to the worst assist in Martin's career. Martin and Crosby get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 3-1.
0:43: A wrister by Mark Letestu is denied by Fleury.
0:00 End of Period. As the horn sounds, Kunitz and Calvert mix it up in the Blue Jackets' left wing corner. Nothing comes of it. Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 1.
-That was pretty one sided. The Blue Jackets were going to have enough trouble in this series just based on the discrepancy in skill. They made things worse by making some mistakes. They can't beat the Penguins by doing stupid things.
-No word on Brian Gibbons he has not played since leaving the bench and heading to the dressing room. He was arguably the Penguins' best player in the period.
-Another player in the conversation was Matt Niskanen. he was a force with his shot from the right point.
-The Blue Jackets need more from their franchise goaltender Bobrovsky. He's not doing nearly enough.
-The Penguins have a 15-4 lead in shot on net.
-The Penguins have a 28-13 lead in attempted shots.
-Adams Orpik, Gibbons and Malkin each lead the game with two shots.
-Johnson leads the game with 8:01 of ice time.
-Martin leads the Penguins with 7:42.
-The Blue Jackets have an 11-9 lead in faceoffs (55 percent).
-Malkin is 3 for 3 (100 percent)
-Dubinsky is 5 for 7 (71 percent).
-Martin and Johansen each lead the game with two blocked shots.
20:00: Kunitz ended up getting a roughing minor for that scrum at the end of the first period. The Blue Jackets will get a power play on fresh ice. Glass, Sutter Orpik and Martin take the ice.
19:35: Sutter lifts a wrister from the right circle. Bobrovsky fights it off.
19:02: Wisniewski chucks a wrister from the left point. Fleury fights it off.
18:34: Anisimov tries to jam in a forehand shot from the right of the cage by Fleury. Fleury denies him. After an intense battle for the rebound, Adams collects it and chucks it down ice.
18:15: A wrister by Calvert from the left circle is blocked by Letang.
17:57: As Kunitz's minor is killed, Savard chops a slapper from the left point which hits a body in front.
17:46: Another penalty. This time, Umberger is called for cross checking Scuderin the Penguins' crease. Crosby, Neal, Malkin, Niskanen and Martin take the ice.
16:43: Short-handed, Dubinsky swats a bouncing puck from the right circle on net. Fleury fights it off.
16:23: Letang golfs a slapper from the right point. Bobrovsky boots it out.
15:46: As the Umberger minor expires, Letang lifts a wrister from the center point over the cage.
15:05: With GIbbons absent, Stempniak is playing with Crosby and Kunitz.
14:04: Jokinen races up the right wing and chucks a backhander which is blocked.
13:59: Orpik swipes a slapper from the right point. Bobrovsky just gets enough of the hit.
13:34: Martin and Comeau mix it up behind the Penguins' net. with COmeau wrsling Martin to the ice. That doesn't really draw a penalty. After they separate, Comeau shoves Martin and then an official raises his hand. Okay. Comeau basically got his own retaliatory penalty. That's a roughing minor. Crosby, Kunitz, Neal, Malkin and Niskanen take the ice.
13:19: A short-handed wrister by Letestu from the left circle is kicked out by Fleury.
12:29: The Blue Jackets aren't quitting. Short-handed, Calvert pushes a puck up on the right wing on a two-on-one against Niskanen. Niskanen takes away the pass to Johnson and gives up the shot. Calvert elects to shoot and rips a pretty average wrister by the glove hand of Fleury on the near side. That didn't appear to be anything Fleury shouldn't have stopped. Either way, its an ugly goal for the team to allow. Anisimov and Savard get the assists. Penguins 3-2.
11:34: The Comeau minor is killed. that was a poor effort by the Penguins' power play.
11:18: The Blue Jackets aren't' quitting when it comes to taking penalties either. Comeau trips up Martin in front of the Columbus bench. That's two minutes. Kunitz, Malkin, Martin, Crosby and Neal take the ice.
10:43: Short-handed again, Calvert pushes the puck up the left wing, gains the offensive zone and veers to the slot. He releases a wrister wide to the right of the cage.
9:18: Two minutes later, the Penguins did next to nothing with that power play.
8:48: After Sutter turns the puck over at the Columbus blue line, Skille pushes it up the right wing and rips a wrister. Fleury snags it.
8:01: Off a feed by Malkin, Neal whips a one-timer form the right circle. Bobrovksy kicks it out.
7:01: A wrister by Jenner from the right circle is blocked by Malkin.
6:49: A heavy wrister by Orpik from the high slot is kicked out by Bobrovsky.
6:06: Nikitin chops a slapper from the right point which is blocked.
5:38: After a strong shift by the Blue Jackets, Derek MacKenzie whips a wrister from in tight on the left wing. Fleury kicks it out.
5:21: After icing the puck, the Penguins call time out to get a breather. They needed that. Columbus was dominating the puck in the Penguins' zone.
5:18: Attendance is announced as 18,619. It is the team's 329th consecutive sellout.
4:43: A one-timer by Johnson from the right point is blocked by a kneeling Bennett.
4:36: xxx chucks a wrister from the high slot. Fleury kicks it out.
3:45: A wrister by Stempniak from the right half wall is blocked wide.
3:22: From above the left circe, Kunitz sails a wrister over the cage.
2:51: After Corey Tropp dumps a puck in deep, Orpik is slammed into the end boards by MacKenzie.
2:15: Savard plays a puck from the Penguins' right half wall and is slammed to the ice by Glass.
2:00: Fleury denies two backhanders in tight by Dubnisky. Fans offer "Flerr-Eeee!" chants in appreciation.
0:47: After a turnover by Letang from behind his own net, a wrister by Calvert from the right circle is blocked denied by Fleury.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 2.
-That was ugly. The Penguins were lucky to escape that period still holding the lead. They were out-worked most of the period. The Blue Jackets dominated the puck deep quite a bit in the Penguins' zone.
-The Penguins' power play has failed it quite a bit thus far. It's looked rather impotent in regards to threatening Bobrovsky and the short-handed goal it allowed was inexcusable.
-Still no word on Gibbons.
-Times like this are when a bigger contribution from the Penguins' second line would be huge.
-The Penguins have a 23-19 lead in shots on net.
-The Blue Jackets have a 44-43 edge in attempted shots.
-Orpik, Neal and Dubinsky each lead the game with four shots on net.
-Johnson leads the game with 17:50 of ice time.
-Crosby leads the Penguins with 15:00.
-The Blue Jackets lead in faceoffs, 21-17 (55 percent).
-Dubinsky is 9 for 15 (60 percent).
-Malkin is 5 for 6 (83 percent).
-Martin leads the game with four blocked shots.
-Johansen leads the Blue Jackets with two blocked shots.
19:05: Another penalty. Dubinsky is called for boarding after he hit Martin from behind into the Penguins' bench. Crosby, Malkin, Niskanen, Neal and Kunitz take the ice.
17:07: Neal tries to jam in a forehand shot from the right of the cage but no dice.
17:01: As the Dubinsky minor expires, Letang rips a wrister from the right circle wide to the far side.
16:10: Bennett rips a wrister from deep on the right wing wide to the far side.
14:51: Another penalty. Adams battles save Savard for position near the Columbus net and ends up clipping Bobrovsky in the net with his stick. Bobrovsky sells the penalty hard and Aaams is sent off for high sticking. Sutter, Stempniak, Martin and Orpik take the ice.
14:18: Johansen snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Fleury snags it. Crosby and Jenner mix it up a bit and and have a bit of a stare-down. Jenner does not win that battle.
13:49: Johnson chops one-timer from the center point wide of the cage. Anisimov and Dubinsky each have a chance at the rebound with Fleury swimming in his crease. Neither can bury it. Scderi or Glass may have blocked on of the shots.
13:33: Wisniewski cranks a slapper form the right half wall. Fleury kicks it out.
13:04: Orpik chips a puck down ice to kill of the rest of Adams' minor. What a big kill.
11:38: Letang chops a slapper from the right point which is blocked out of play.
11:22: Umberger chips and chases a puck up the left wing, He chops a centering feed for Cam Atkinson who taps the puck just wide. What an effort by Umberger.
9:27: Johnson and Adams collide while battling for a puck behind the Columbus net. Johnson wins that battle.
8:22: The Blue Jackets will get another power play. Dubinsky powered the puck up the right wing wall and was tripped by by Scuderi in the Penguins' right circle. That's two minutes for tripping.