26 minutes ago
The penguins decimated the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2 for their first win of the season on Saturday night in the PPG Paints Arena. But they may have lost the centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad, who left the game for unknown reasons.
Malkin has left the competition after an unfavorable clash with the defender of Blue Jackets after 8 minutes and 4 seconds of the second period Vladislav Gavrikov. Bjugstad left the third at 7:03. There was no immediate message about her status.
In their absence, the penguins struck a Sabers on Thursday two nights after Malkin's criticism of his team mate due to a miserable performance in a 1
After a goalless opening, the Penguins opened the 1:45 rating every second. After a strong attack from the third row, Patric Hornqvist, the attacker of Penguins, chased the defender of Blue Jackets, Zach Werenski, behind the cage. Jared McCann, the penguin striker, picked up the puck and set a left-sided pass for defender Jack Johnson, who immediately fired a wrister. Hornqvist, who was in the slot, threw the puck past the blocker of goalkeeper Elvis Merzlikins, a freshman who started his first career. Johnson and McCann were credited with templates.
They made it 2-0 at the 4/14 mark of the second. Striker Sidney Crosby stole a puck from Werenski behind the net and took him from the right-hand circle to the left-hand spot to propel defender Marcus Pettersson. Pettersson studied the cage and tore open a wrist that dropped from the underside of Merzlikin's glove and crashed into the cage. Crosby got the lonely support.
Columbus rose to the scoreboard at 6:45 a second. After a move from Crosby to the Penguins, the Blue Jackets striker, Jakob Lilja, picked up a left-wing wrestler who deflected keeper Matt Murray. Columbus striker Nick Foligno collected the rebound to the left of the cage and handed over a pass to forward Riley Nash in the slot. Nash fired a quick shot, but a slipping Pettersson prevented the shot. The rebound slipped to Werenski to the right of the cage and he lifted a wrist past the glove hand of a sweeping Murray. Nash and Foligno equalized.
The penguins rose by two to the 8:45 mark of the second. Columbus' defender Ryan Murray fingered a puck on the left side of the penguins as Brandon Tanev, the penguin striker, put pressure. Then striker Jared McCann, who replaced Malkin in the second row, took over the puck and prevailed with striker Alex Galchenyuk against defender Seth Jones of Blue Jackets in twos. McCann decided to shoot from the right circle and put his wrist under Merzlikin's left arm on the other side. The gate was not supported.
At 15:09 of the second, Crosby left the competition for a moment after battling Blue Jackets in a fight against Pierre-Luc Dubois, who was more of a wrestling match than a heavyweight match. Crosby recorded his seventh career fight major in the regular season.
The penguins poured it on at 15:23 of the second. Galchenyk dragged the puck through the neutral zone, taking the offensive blue line in the center and shooting a backhand pass on McCann, who was trailing on the left wing. With Columbus' defender David Savard out of position, McCann had to cope with a morning of ice and sent a wrister past Merzlikin's Blocker. Galchenyuk had the sole help.
Late in the second the floodgates opened. With Malkin and Crosby absent, a de facto leading powerplay squad from defenders Kris Letang, Justin Schultz, McCann, Hornqvist and Galchenyuk met at 19:58. Galchenyuk led a pass from the left wall through the slot where McCann missed a one-timer for Letang on the right wall. Letang raised a slap that ran between Merzlikin's blocker and left ribs on the other side, also thanks to a screen by Hornqvist. Galchenyuk and Schultz had assists.
Crosby played great in the third period by tapping a puck with his backhand, through his legs and in front of him in the left circle. From point to point, he led a forehand pass around the defender of Columbus, Dean Kukan, into the right circle, where a rear Hornqvist shot past Merzlikin's blocker on the other side. Crosby and striker Jake Guentzel had assists.
Striker Teddy Blueger intervened as he fired a wrister from the slit behind the glove of Merzlikins, a Latvian compatriot. Strikers Dominik Kahun and Tanev recorded assists, their first points as members of the penguins.
The Blue Jackets closed the scoring at 14:19 as Nash Letang forced into the right corner and gave Gustav Nyquist a pass to the striker who put a wrister behind Murray. The only assistant went to Nash.
Murray scored 28 saves in the victory.