PITTSBURGH VS COLUMBUS
PPG PAINTS ARENA PITTSBURGH, PA.
7:00 PM EST. ROOT SPORTS
PENS LEAD THE SERIES 1-0
While everyone on the internet was screaming at each other about goalies the Pens took a one-nothing series lead on Wednesday. With only one game in the books there hasn’t been much posturing from either side so far. Tortorella thinks his team needs to hit more or something and the Pens continue to wait on the health of Carl Hagelin and Matt Murray.
For as jammed as everyone was before Game 1 the build up to Game 2 has felt a little subdued. But that’s sure to change as puck drop approaches tonight. Columbus is going to be desperate not to fall into an 0-2 hole and should come out tonight doing all the annoying bullshit Torts teams are known for.
Lines: No real changes for either squad. Torts has evidently un-benched his best goal scorer so there’s that.
What To Watch For:
Scott Harrington playing a key role in a Penguins playoff series:
Harrington was a part of the package that helped land the Pens Phil Kessel and now he returns to help the franchise once again by playing mediocre defense for its first-round opponent. Harrington and his partner Gabriel Carlsson played only 7:57 and 8:58 while the rest of the Jackets D all played 21+ minutes. The time the pair was on the ice they were pretty much roundly smacked by the Pens, so seeing them on the ice should lead to some good chances for the Pens depth players.
Sullivan pretty hilariously needled Torts during the 1st period on the NBC broadcast telling Pierre McGuire, “anyone can get any matchup they want if you run to the bench every time someone comes on the ice.” He followed that up today saying that coaching hockey, “isn’t chess.” And while HCMS is correct, the possession numbers certainly favored the Blue Jackets in game 1 and there were long stretches, especially in the 1st period Wednesday, where the Pens can’t be happy with their play. Luckily Dan Bylsma ain’t walking through that door and the Pens have been able to adapt throughout Sullivan’s tenure.
Playoff hockey is young and there’s already a lot riding on tonight – 1-1 and 2-0 are very different series, especially heading to Columbus after tonight and having to stare down that god damn cannon. If the Pens defend home ice tonight they are looking at needing to win one in cbus, if not, whooo boy buckle up.