Pittsburgh has now lost two straight and failed to make up ground on the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins have a two-point lead on the Boston Bruins for the first wild card seed in the Eastern Conference.
Pittsburgh is 7-8-2 since March 1.
Trailing 2-0, Foligno scored his 28th of the season to get the Jackets on the board at 16:25 of the second period.
Less than two minutes later, Matt Calvert tied the game 2-2 with his 11th of the season.
Foligno gave Columbus its first lead of the game at 6:46 of the third.
After Scott Hartnell gave Columbus a 4-2 lead at 9:29 of the third, Ben Lovejoy got Pittsburgh to within one with his second of the season.
Sidney Crosby and Brandon Sutter had the other Pens goals.
Things got heated in the third as the Pens pushed for the equalizer.
Jack Johnson delivered a blow to Patric Hornqvist in front of the Blue Jackets net and picked up two minutes for roughing on the play.
Pittsburgh, who out-shot the Jackets 11-2 in the second half of the third, was unable to score on the ensuing power play.
Foligno completed the hat trick into an empty net with less than a minute remaining.
The Florida Panthers were on the power play – and dangerous sniper Mike Hoffman had a chance to shoot from the slot – when the lights went out, briefly, at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
Now, this wasn’t like the blackout at Boston Garden during the 1988 Stanley Cup Final, when a Game 4 against the mighty Edmonton Oilers had to be replayed in its entirety in Edmonton because of such an outage. In that case, it went wrong for the Bruins, as they had managed a 3-3 tie during the second period of that nullified contest against that dynastic team.
In Tuesday’s case, you could imagine someone, somewhere – probably in Florida – claiming it was all a big conspiracy. For just a moment or two, the lights went out when the Bruins were killing a penalty. This screen grab of Sportsnet’s video (which you can watch fully above this post’s headline) gives you an idea of Hoffman’s location … if you squint a little. Actually, allow some help, as I fight the urge to go full John Madden in telestrator mode:
Apologies to conspiracy theorists, but these things happen. The brightest side is that it wasn’t a situation where a check was about to be delivered, as that could have made for a dangerous moment.
That wasn’t the only wild part of Tuesday’s game. The Bruins had a 4-0 lead in the third period against the Panthers, yet Florida ended up winning 5-4 via a shootout. Wow.
The New York Rangers ended the first period up 2-0 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (watch live on NBCSN; stream here) thanks, in part, to some tremendous passing.
Most impressively, Brendan Lemieux sent a tremendous long bomb of a pass, beating multiple Penguins defenders, to Kaapo Kakko, who scored what might have been his best goal in the NHL so far by finishing the play with great moves.
This marks the first multi-game point streak for Kakko, 18, who also scored a goal against the Florida Panthers on Sunday. The second pick of the 2019 NHL Draft now has five goals and seven points so far in his rookie season, and still has two periods to add more during his 16th game.
The Penguins failed on two power plays in the first period, pushing them to 0-for-28. They haven’t scored a PPG since mid-October.
To make matters worse for the Penguins, Artemi Panarin sent a tremendous pass to defenseman Adam Fox for the 2-0 goal with less than 10 seconds left.
Pittsburgh’s been a slow-starting team quite often in 2019-20, and in some cases have been able to rally for comeback wins. We’ll see if they can pull off another one on Tuesday, as it’s been a very weak start, and it’s possible it could have been more than a 2-0 lead for the Rangers after 20 minutes.
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The Penguins are coming off a 3-2 (SO) win on Saturday – a game they trailed 2-0 midway through the second period. It was their third straight game rallying from a multi-goal deficit. Despite earning the win against Chicago, Sidney Crosby left in the third period with a lower-body injury. He has been ruled out for this game, and his status beyond that is unknown.
Pittsburgh enters this game on a massive power play drought. They have not scored a power play goal in their previous 11 games, going 0-for-25 in that span. The total drought actually extends to the game prior to that, when they failed on their final attempt, so the Pens are 0-for-their-last-26 overall.
Rangers No. 1 center Mika Zibanejad has missed the last six games with an upper-body injury, suffered on Oct. 27 on a hit from Patrice Bergeron. Zibanejad will reportedly not travel with the team to Florida, meaning he is out for at least the next three games. He was leading the team with 11 points in nine games prior to his departure from the lineup.
After alternating starts at the beginning of the season, the Rangers have spent the past few weeks giving chunks of consecutive starts to each of their netminders. Alex Georgiev will get the start in this game – his seventh of the season – after Henrik Lundqvist started the previous three.
Brendan Burke and Joe Micheletti will call the Penguins-Rangers showdown from Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. Paul Burmeister will anchor studio coverage with analysts Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp.
Stars coach apologizes to Seguin, Benn for post-game comments
After the Dallas Stars were on the losing end of a 3-2 overtime decision against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, coach Jim Montgomery expressed some frustration with the current lack of production of his top players, and even though he never mentioned Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn by name it was pretty obvious which players he was talking about.
It was the second year in a row (around the same point in the season) the Stars’ top-two forwards were the focal points of internal criticism, facing even more scathing criticism from team CEO Jim Lites this past December.
On Tuesday, Montgomery said he apologized to the team and the individual players for what he described as an emotional mistake, while also adding, “We win as a team and we lose as a team.”
Following the game on Sunday Montgomery said he was “disappointed” in the production of the team’s top players, and was dismissive when asked if he had seen any signs of progress.
He later added, “They’ve got to decide that they want to be a difference maker.”
Seguin and Benn did not seem bothered by the criticism and acknowledged on Tuesday that they need to produce more. They have combined for just four goals so far this season, though Seguin is still producing some assists and is tied for the team lead in scoring.
Even so, it is always noteworthy when a coach singles out individual players following a loss, especially when it is the team’s best players. Even with the lack of goal-scoring from the Stars’ big-two, they have still won seven of their past nine games and collected 15 out of a possible 18 points in those games to start building some momentum following a disappointing start. A lot of the improvement has been due to their goaltending and some depth players stepping up and producing.