Recap 32: Columbus Cures Insomnia

Recap 32: Columbus Cures Insomnia

Penguins

Recap 32: Columbus Cures Insomnia

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The Penguins continued their homestand last night when they welcomed their little brothers to the west into The Paint Can. The Pens were attempting to rebound from a lackluster effort against Montreal two nights before while the Blue Jackets were trying to win their second game in a row. The Pens were this close… this close, to starting the same lineup for the fourth consecutive game, until Joseph Blandisi was recalled on an emergency basis to replace Evgeni Malkin who was out with the native flu. With Malkin out, and no updates on the injury front the Penguins put out a lineup that looks like the 2026 Penguins

Some people are saying Galchenyuk hasn’t been given a fair shake on this team. Sullivan started him with what I guess is the top line, and by the end of the night Dominik Simon once again found is way on the wing of the top line while Galchenyuk slid down.

FIRST PERIOD

I had an entire post thought up in my head to go here as soon as the Pens announced Malkin wouldn’t be in. Like

most, I expected the team to come out and look like a team without Crosby and Malkin. Shows how spoiled we are, because a team without Crosby and Malkin is every other team in the league. The Penguins lineup without their stars was ready to go for the game, and Columbus netminder Joonas Korpisalo was busy in the first. The Penguins gained some momentum through two powerplay attempts at the six and twelve minutes, respectively. Neither man-advantage resulted in a goal but it did help the team find a groove.

Korpisalo kept the game scoreless through one, but it was all Penguins all the time in the first. By the time the period ended the Pens had racked up 19 scoring chances for to only 8 against, a Corsi percentage of 70.37%.

SECOND PERIOD

If the second period was a state it would be Ohio.

An even 14 scoring chances for both teams. Shots finished 6-5 Pens. Columbus tightened up defensively and the Penguins couldn’t get sustained pressure. On the other side of the puck, the Penguins shut down the Blue Jackets in the neutral zone created 20 minutes of slog. The Jackets had a late powerplay chance when Pettersson took a tripping penalty with 2:30 left in the period, the Pens killed it off.

THIRD PERIOD

The third period was basically broken into three periods. The first third of the period looked exactly like the second period. During the middle third of the period, the Blue Jackets miraculously found their legs and started pushing the Penguins around the ice. The Jackets had a noticeable step on the Penguins, who looked content with getting to overtime. Tristan Jarry stepped up in a big way in the frame, making some big-time saves to keep the game at zero.

After sustaining the Columbus onslaught the Penguins used two perfectly timed TV timeouts to get their minds right. The final five minutes of the period the Pens pushed back and may have been tripped a time or three but the refs put their whistles away early in the third.

Time would click away and we were heading to overtime scoreless.

This was the 4,078th game in franchise history and only 20 of those have been scoreless after 60 minutes, that’s slightly fascinating.

The Pens finished the third with 24 scoring chances for to 16 against. Jarry was the star of the period.

OVERTIME

Considering their depleted lineup, the overtime format favored the Blue Jackets. The Pens started with Guentzel, Rust, and Letang, and Kris Letang took over. During the opening shift, the Pens controlled the puck for over a minute as Kris Letang danced his way around the offensive zone, eventually drawing a penalty from a tired Pierre-Luc Dubois. That was the first shift in overtime, it took a minute and 25 seconds. Sullivan called a timeout to give Letang and crew a 30 second rest. The powerplay went to work with Guentzel and Rust as the forwards and Letang and Schultz on the backend. The puck never left the zone. After over a minute of sustained pressure, Letang gets the puck to Rust, who does a stick lift for the ages on Seth Jones. Using the time he created for himself, Bryan Rust calmly turns around and stuffs that turkey home.

BRYAN RUST (10) Assisted by Letang (12) & Guentzel (16) @ 3:02 PPG

Great goal scorers find ways to get themselves open. This stick lift by Rust sent Seth Jones back to Nashville. Unreal play. Kris Letang ended up playing the entire three minutes and two seconds of overtime, with just the 30-second timeout as a break. No word yet on if that is worth the chronicle’s time, but this game is over.

THOUGHTS

  • Tristan Jarry has stopped 100 of the last 103 shots fired his way for an unreal .970 save percentage over the last four games. What a player.
  • John Marino is so damn good it isn’t fair that Jack Johnson is making $3 million dollars to watch a 22-year-old shine
  • People who complain about Dominik Simon not scoring should rewatch this game. If Simon was told to never shoot the puck again and just pass the puck I would have no issues with that. He was bumped up to Guentzel’s line less than halfway through the game and finished with 25 scoring chances for and just 11 against
  • The Penguins earning two points in this game with the over $30 million out of the lineup against a divisional opponent is a big deal. This is a scary team, folks, and they are a winger for Malkin (and getting healthy) away from being a cup favorite.
  • Did I mention Tristan Jarry is kind of good? It’s almost like the Penguins traded up to get him in the draft.
  • Take a second to appreciate how lucky we are. We watched this game knowing that the Pens will be getting Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby back in the lineup. Columbus fans watched this game like every other game, with nothing to look forward to. We’ve been spoiled, and that’s why with the team playing the way it is I’m all for GMJR making a splash for a deep run. As Penguins fans, we get to watch a team win while looking forward to a run at the cup. For Columbus fans, they get to look forward to winning a free ticket on a scratch off.

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