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Penguins overcome Bobrovsky, take 3-2 series lead against Blue Jackets

Apr 26, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

Despite carrying play for most of Game 5, the Pittsburgh Penguins were forced to grind things out against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 3-1 win, grabbing a 3-2 series lead in the process.

Sergei Bobrovsky kept the Blue Jackets in the game even as his team was regularly facing a barrage of Penguins shots.

Through two periods, Pittsburgh generated a 36-17 shot advantage and that didn’t slow down in the third period. Jussi Jokinen eventually broke free to give the Pens a 2-1 lead.

The breathless coverage might bury Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin – Penguins fans even went as far as to boo Crosby when Pittsburgh was down by a goal – yet both created chances. Crosby was particularly active in firing six shots on goal and getting an assist. Even so, Dan Bylsma experimented a bit with Malkin and Crosby together at even-strength, which is still a fairly rare sight.

(Seriously, that duo rarely skates together when they aren’t on the power play.)

Overall, the Penguins fired a ridiculous 50 shots on Bobrovsky (plus an empty-net goal) compared to the Blue Jackets’ 24. Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t face the busiest of nights, yet he must be relieved to get the win and only allowed one goal. (He also received an ovation from the fans in Pittsburgh).

Columbus actually generated a 1-0 lead in this game, so if you’re really sticking to a “no lead is safe” narrative, you can hang your hat on that.

The bigger story might be that the Penguins persevered but the Blue Jackets seem determined to make this a fight. The series shifts back to Columbus for Game 6 on Monday.

  1. buckeye044 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Bobs was the only reason the game was close.

  2. penguins87and71 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    I can honestly say this is the best game I have seen the Penguins play all year. I also think the fans booing Crosby helped to get him going, I never thought I would see the day where Crosby got booed by Penguins fans. Man Crosby can’t buy a goal, even with the empty net he couldn’t score. I do think however both him and Malkin played very well, probably the best played game in the series and I think their about ready to break out.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      That’s funny, cause CBC finally just admitted that Crosby and Malkin didn’t play well tonight and for them to admit that Crosby didn’t play well is almost the same likelihood as the earth to stop spinning.

      • penguins87and71 - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:07 PM

        Really? They must have not watched the game then, because tonight they played the best game of the series, Crosby even got an assist on the Kunitz goal.

    • chanceoffleury - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      Was there obvious booing on the tv broadcast? I was there and this surprised me when I read it because I didn’t notice any booing for anyone but the blue jackets or bad calls. What part of the game did you hear it? I’m watching the tv broadcast right now, so I’ll have to listen. Maybe it was just a group of people close to a mic?

      • penguins87and71 - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:42 PM

        I didn’t hear it either, but Josh Yohe the Penguins beat writer said Crosby made a bad pass, and the Penguins fans stared to boo him.

      • c9castine - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:45 PM

        i heard nothing and i had the game turned way up on surround sound.

      • chanceoffleury - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:07 AM

        Now that you say that I think I know what he’s talking about. Crosby had Kunitz (I think?) coming up the ice even with him on a two on two, and instead of taking an open wrist shot or passing to Kunitz, he made a drop pass to Dubinsky. The closest Pens player besides Kunitz was probably 20 feet behind Dubinsky, who was already probably 10 feet behind Crosby/Kunitz. It was indeed a terrible, terrible pass. Very boo-worthy. That being said, per usual, saying the crowd booed him is a bit much. But James Neal said it best yesterday: “Don’t [the Pens beat writers] overblow everything?” It wasn’t even enough for me to remember without somebody pointing out what it was about. Hardly noticeable, really.

      • dieselpens - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:11 AM

        I was there and I am assuming thats the play they were referring to. I definitely heard some grumbles on that pass but saying anything more than that is overkill.

    • c9castine - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      given the circumstances…the pressure cooker that is pittsburgh, and the pot roast that is the penguins…

      possibly the best game they have played since june 12, 2009. good enough to make me think it at the very least.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:11 AM

      Not doubting you, frankly I only saw the last 10 minutes of the third so I can’t judge, I just find it interesting that they would say that at this point when they do have 5 points in 5 games and the Penguins are up 3-2 in the series, and Pens fans on here seem fairly happy with their play tonight.

  3. whammy71 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Championship! 3 down…..13 to go! Take it to the bank…….AND Stamp It!

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      Jinx? At least you didn’t mention a parade (yet).

  4. penguins87and71 - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    If the Penguins played like this every game, they would be really hard to stop.

    • cheesesteak75 - Apr 27, 2014 at 1:09 AM


  5. imgoingtowichita - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    The Amazing Splashinies

  6. rushledger - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Sutter has been great. Fluery was strong. Getting Goc back helps huge with face off depth too. Putting 51 shots up shows they had the puck quite a bit more too.

  7. joey4id - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Did the Pens just win a game with a 1 goal lead going into the final minutes of a game? Good for them and good for Fleury for coming back with a solid performance.

  8. c9castine - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    that. was. glorious.

    utter domination.

    at the same time, series isnt over. penguins, 3-2. onto the next one. gotta do it on the road.

  9. chanceoffleury - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Crazy what happens when Letang shows up to play. He was feisty tonight. Just enough emotion to fuel him but he was still in control. I thought he played a good defensive game tonight which was refreshing to see. Plus a little reward for him with the empty netter at the end. He takes a lot of poop for the Pens being able to win without him or whatever, but more often than not: when he’s playing well the Pens play well, and when he’s playing poorly the Pens play poorly. He and Martin’s individual play is a huge defining factor in how the Pens puck caring game as a team looks that night. I hope he keeps it up.

  10. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Where was the booing at of Sid? Seriously I heard nothing on the broadcast. I mean everyone knows that Sid can’t hit an open net lol. Solid game. Fleury played well in between the pipes. If they play like they did tonight on Monday then well probably win.

    • miketoasty - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      I was at the game and other than the obvious idiot fans getting restless on bad passes I never noticed Crosby receiving any boos. Malkin took a ton of heat from my section though.

      Oh, and a little on the humorous side, the guy sitting a couple seats to my right was whining because he thought the Pens weren’t shooting enough. God I can’t stand fans that have no idea how the game works. Also, didn’t know the concept of a delayed penalty and the goalie going to the bench.

  11. johnnyd76 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    CBJ struck first with 7+ minutes to play in the first. From that point on, the PENS looked like a team in the playoffs. Every facet of their game came together and they had that certain ‘jump’ in their step, finally displaying what had been missing in these playoffs – tenacity and perseverance. Has the sleeping giant suddenly awaken? I believe so – GO PENS!

  12. penguins87and71 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:17 AM

    I guess the most encouraging thing about tonights game was that Fleury payed a pretty strong game.

  13. billsboy88 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    I missed the supposed booing of Sid as well

  14. dmarado - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    The Penguins last night played like the Blue Jackets did Thursday. I was impressed w/their intensity and willingness to win all the little battles. CBJ loses that game ten times out of ten. I hope they come back and play like they can in game 6.

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