Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Niskanen

Get your game notes: Penguins at Blue Jackets


Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Columbus Blue Jackets hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— The team that’s scored first has lost all five games in this series. In every other series this postseason, the team that scores first is 26-10. After four straight games in which the team down by two goals came back to win in this series, there was no such comeback Saturday in Game 5, a 3-1 Pittsburgh victory.

— Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury bounced back from Game 4 to help Pittsburgh win Game 5, stopping 23 of Columbus’ 24 shots. Fleury has yet to post back-to-back wins in this series and has only won consecutive playoff games twice in the previous three postseasons (2012 ECQF Game 4 and 5 vs. Philadelphia; 2011 ECQF Game 3 and 4 vs. Tampa Bay).

— Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky faced more shots (190) through the first five games of this postseason than any other goalie. In Game 5, last year’s Vezina Trophy winner faced 50 shots, turning away 48 in the loss. Only Chicago’s Corey Crawford has faced more shots in a single game this postseason — 52, in a 3-OT loss against St. Louis in Game 1. For the Penguins, it was the first time since Game 2 of the 2008 ECQF against Ottawa that they had at least 50 shots in a regulation postseason game. In the second period, the Penguins had 21 shots, matching a franchise playoff record for one frame.

— Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma tweaked his lines in Game 5 in order to feature Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the same line. Although neither was able to snap the longest postseason goal-scoring droughts of their careers — Crosby (10), Malkin (9) — they combined for eight shots, their second-highest total of this series since they had nine in Game 2. Crosby added an assist on Chris Kunitz’s power play goal in the second period Saturday, his fifth assist of the series.

— Of the 32 goals that have been recorded in this series, 15 have come via special teams (46.9% – 11 PPG, 4 SHG), the most of any first-round series. In Game 5, Columbus scored on the power play for the second straight game and in the fourth game overall in this series. Dating back to the regular season, Columbus has scored a power play goal in 13 of its last 16 games. The Blue Jackets are now 6-22 (27.3%) on the power play in the series, the third-best mark in the postseason. Boone Jenner scored the power play goal Saturday, while Ryan Johansen had one of the assists. The two are tied for the team lead in power play points—Jenner (2-2—4), Johansen (2-2—4). Jenner, the 20-year-old Canadian rookie, has a point in each game of this series and 11 points in his last 10 games, dating back to the regular season.

— In the past three games of this series, the winning team has out shot its opponent by 21 or more shots.



Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien
Leave a comment

We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.

Good news: Colaiacovo traveling with Sabres

Leave a comment

It was a scary sight.

Carlo Colaiacovo fell to his hands and knees after taking a cross-check to the throat from Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson (above).

Arvidsson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Colaiacovo suffered a dented trachea on the play.

After the game, both Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette agreed that there was no malicious intent on Arvidsson’s part.

“I don’t think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check,” Bylsma said. “They kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it’s a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo’s neck.”

“It was tough for Arvidsson,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think he had any bad intentions. He just ran into somebody and the stick got caught a little bit high, but just a tough turn of events.”

The Sabres defenseman left the game and was treated at a nearby hospital, but there is some good news to report.

According to the Buffalo News, Colaiacovo was released from hospital and he was able to travel to Detroit with his teammates.

It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

Leave a comment

There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.