The Pittsburgh Penguins scored early, and when they tallied, it was often on the way to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 5 of the opening round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena in Pittsburgh Thursday night.
With the Game 5 win over Columbus, the defending champion Penguins advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while the Blue Jackets suffered their third first-round exit in three postseason trips in franchise history.
The Penguins got the board when right winger Phil Kessel put a shot beyond the reach of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at the 9:07 mark of the first period.
With the man advantage, the Penguins appeared as though they would recycle the puck at the blue line, but defenseman Justin Schultz reversed it back to Kessel at the top of the left faceoff circle and he rifled the shot past Bobrovsky’s stick for the opening goal of the game.
In the second period, the Penguins got a pair of goals from right winger Bryan Rust, and built a 3-0 advantage.
On the first tally, Rust controlled a rebound off of an errant Kessel shot and slipped it past the outstretched glove of Bobrovsky and into the back of the net. Bobrovsky’s momentum was taking him to his right when the shot went left.
Then, less than three minutes later, Rust again cleaned up a rebound and backhanded it into the net on the glove side.
Although the Blue Jackets tallied the final two goals of the second period and made it a 3-2 game heading into the second intermission, the Penguins had a response from which Columbus could not recover.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby made it a two-goal game when he one-timed a pass from center Evgeni Malkin from the bottom of the right faceoff circle into the far side of the net with 14:29 to play in the third period.
Just 51 seconds later, left winger Scott Wilson controlled a rebound in front of the crease and got a no-look backhanded shot into the net for the Penguins’ fifth and final goal of the game.
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