Columbus at Pittsburgh
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Saturday, April 19, 2014
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Despite putting a scare into their opposition, the Columbus Blue Jackets still haven't proven they can defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. The Blue Jackets look to rebound after letting a two-goal advantage evaporate and salvage a split of the first two contests of their Eastern Conference first-round series when they visit the Metropolitan Division champions for Game 2 on Saturday. Brandon Sutter scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period as Pittsburgh defeated Columbus for the sixth time in as many meetings this season with a 4-3 triumph in Game 1 on Wednesday.
"I have to be better. Four goals is a lot, but it's already past me," said reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, who owns an 0-3 career mark in postseason play with a gaudy 4.04 goals-against average. Marc-Andre Fleury, who knows a thing or two about playoff meltdowns, came up big with 31 saves in Game 1. Evgeni Malkin didn't show any rust from a three-week absence due to a foot injury, notching two assists on Wednesday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FSN Ohio (Columbus), ROOT (Pittsburgh)
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS: Pittsburgh native R.J. Umberger participated in practice Friday and is expected to return to action after being sidelined since April 6 with an upper-body injury. "I grew up going to these playoff games, this was my childhood, and earlier in my career, I got a chance to play in Mellon Arena," Umberger said, referring to his time when rival Philadelphia paid a visit. "The atmosphere was great (in Game 1) and I'm anxious and really excited to get in there."
ABOUT THE PENGUINS: Kris Letang struggled mightily in Game 1 as the defenseman's turnover led to Derek MacKenzie's short-handed goal while a retaliatory slash gave Columbus a power play. Coach Dan Bylsma was not pleased and limited Letang's ice time accordingly (3:55 in the third period). "I think he got a message," Bylsma said. "Whether it was a voice or not playing or a nice talk, he got a message. And that's something he’s got to be better at and that’s something we've got to be better at as a group."
1. Columbus LW Nick Foligno (lower body) originally was ruled out for Game 2, but coach Todd Richards said he "looked really good" in practice on Friday and left the door open a sliver for his inclusion in the lineup.
2. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby recorded an assist in Game 1 for his 106th career playoff point, moving him into a tie with Kevin Stevens for third place on the franchise list.
3. The Blue Jackets have lost all five postseason games in franchise history.
PREDICTION: Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 2
Stats and Records