Apr 18, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT
If the Columbus Blue Jackets were supposed to go into the playoffs and be scared of the Pittsburgh Penguins, they did a bad job of showing that.
The Jackets hung tough in Game 1 and even held a 3-1 lead on the Penguins at one point before ultimately falling 4-3. Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen told Kevin Allen of USA Today he was happy with how the team came out in their first playoff game in six seasons.
“We weren’t overwhelmed like can happen with a young team in a playoff atmosphere,” Kekalainen said. “I thought we came out looking very relaxed-intense, if I can call it that.”
Forward Brandon Dubinsky took the lead step for the team to show them how not to be scared of the Penguins’ talent level by agitating Sidney Crosby all game long. Expect to see a lot more of that throughout the series as the two have a bit of a history as Puck Daddy shared.
It’s that brand of playing without fear that Kekalainen likes and the rest of the Blue Jackets have to keep bringing the rest of the way. At the least, maybe they can wear the Penguins out to create turnovers.
- How bad are things for the Kings after Monday? 4
- Lightning clinch playoff berth, but did they lose Hedman? 6
- Blackhawks tease good injury news for Kane 7
- Tough times in Tampa: Garrison out 3-4 weeks after ‘pretty dirty’ Abdelkader hit 22
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 29
- NHL on NBCSN: Stakes high for Kings, ‘Hawks tonight 21
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 12
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 13
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 18