Columbus Blue Jackets aim for consistency against Pittsburgh Penguins

After excelling as a last-minute replacement, Fleury has been confirmed to start on Friday in Game 2 of the first-round series at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS: Brandon Saad looks to atone from a porous performance in Game 1, one that saw the 24-year-old Pittsburgh native limited to just 1:45 of ice time in the third period. That last figure is especially notable since the Penguins blocked 21 Columbus attempts.

Ahead of Game 1 of the Penguins' Stanley Cup defense Wednesday, starting netminder Matt Murray suffered a lower-body injury that forced him not just out of crease for the evening, but entirely out of action. Columbus has scored more than three goals just once in its past 13 games. Pens head coach Mike Sullivan commented after the game, saying his team can't control whether they win after the whistle. Tristan Jarry was exceptional for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, but the National Hockey League playoffs are a whole different monster. Game 2 is Friday night in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh isn't going to have a lot of off days at home and they know they can't start slow like they did in Game 1. Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Cullen (7) clears a rebound behind goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) before Columbus Blue Jackets' Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) can get his stick on it during the period in Game 2 of an NHL first-round hockey.

"That's not up to me", Kuhnhackl said. After several hard years in the middle of his career, Fleury was as on top of his game in 2015-16 as he had been in years, posting an outstanding.921 SP and 2.29 goals-against average in almost 60 games. "Just let's get back at it, and let's go".

Fleury is no stranger to post-season hockey - it was his 99th career playoff start - winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 and again as a backup to Murray a year ago. Sometimes, if we're not careful, we can get in the way of that process. The period closed out with the Penguins holding a 2-1 lead. "Something to build on for Game 2". I think it's an interesting situation right now, how the game is being played. Saad played 14:26 in Game 1, sixth among forwards.

"After the second one, we lost ourselves a little bit", Tortorella said.

In a high-tempo, emotion-filled game, the Pittsburgh Penguins came out ready to play.

  • Leroy Wright