The Columbus Blue Jackets continue generating plenty of scoring chances over the first two games of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they have struggled to put pucks into the net, and the offensive lulls have cost them against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Despite putting 40 shots on goal, the Blue Jackets (0-2) scored only once and suffered a 4-1 loss to the Penguins (2-0) in Game 2 at PPG Paints Arena Friday night.
The Penguins initiated the scoring on a hustle play near the midway point of the first period.
Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky attempted handling the puck behind the net, but left winger Conor Sheary wrestled it away from the veteran net-minder and centered a pass to center Jake Guentzel. Guentzel tipped a pass over to Crosby, who jammed the puck into the net for the first goal of the game with 11:29 to play in the first period.
The Blue Jackets drew even with the Penguins, 1-1, when left winger Brandon Saad pushed the puck through center ice and into the attack zone along the far boards and ripped a wrist shot out of the reach of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Although the Blue Jackets drew even seven minutes into the second period, the tie did not last long, as the Penguins retook the lead just 51 seconds later.
Crosby led a two-on-one break toward Bobrovsky up the nearside boards and fed a late pass to Guentzel with a clear slot at the net. Guentzel ripped a wrister past Bobrovsky’s glove and into the net for a 2-1 advantage and his first tally of the postseason.
The Penguins built on their lead when center Evgeni Malkin took a pass from Crosby, and from a sharp angle, fired a shot out of Bobrovsky’s reach for the third tally of the game just over two minutes into the third period.
Right winger Patric Hornqvist tallied an empty netter with 46 seconds remaining in the game.
The Blue Jackets will look to get back into the series when they return home to Nationwide Arena in Columbus for Game 3 on Sunday night.
© 2017 WKYC-TV