“We weren’t overwhelmed like can happen with a young team in a playoff atmosphere,” Kekalainen said. “I thought we came out looking very relaxed-intense, if I can call it that.”
Forward Brandon Dubinsky took the lead step for the team to show them how not to be scared of the Penguins’ talent level by agitating Sidney Crosby all game long. Expect to see a lot more of that throughout the series as the two have a bit of a history as Puck Daddy shared.
It’s that brand of playing without fear that Kekalainen likes and the rest of the Blue Jackets have to keep bringing the rest of the way. At the least, maybe they can wear the Penguins out to create turnovers.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger