Blue Jackets: Captain Foligno says CBJ found new trigger in win over Penguins
COLUMBUS -- (AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets provided a sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena with a captivating look at what the first round of the playoffs might look like.
The high-energy Friday night game between the Metropolitan Division rivals had tight checking, big hits, 78 total shots on goal, stunning saves and an edge-of-the-seat overtime, in which Columbus prevailed 2-1.
"It feels really good, especially against those guys in a packed building," said Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky after he won it with a top-shelf shot over Matthew Murray 1:04 into OT.
"The fans were awesome tonight."
The Blue Jackets have won three of the past four and moved to within a point of Pittsburgh for second place in the division.
"They have a lot of energy in this building," said Ian Cole, who scored Pittsburgh's only goal.
Sergei Bobrovsky had 38 saves, and Ryan Murray also scored for Columbus. Matt Murray, Bobrovsky's counterpart, was nearly as good, stopping 37 shots.
The Penguins were playing the second game of a back-to-back and coming off a 4-3 overtime win over Winnipeg on Wednesday night, but coach Mike Sullivan said he didn't think his team was any worse for the wear.
"It was a game of momentum," he said. "I thought they had it in the second period, I thought we had it in the third. I thought we had a lot of great chances in the first period. There were momentum swings both ways."
An intense, entertaining first period ended without a goal. Pittsburgh outshot the Blue Jackets 15-11, clanging the crossbar and the post with shots while Bobrovsky held tight as the Penguins swarmed and bumped him around. The Blue Jackets got some great looks, too, but also couldn't penetrate.
After Sidney Crosby bounced a slap shot off the post to start the second period, the Blue Jackets struck. William Karlsson pushed the puck out in front of the goal and Ryan Murray finished it with a backhander from the slot with 1:33 gone.
The Penguins tied it 6:13 into the period when Cole zinged a wrister from the left point past the glove of Bobrovsky, who was screened by one of his defensemen.
Brandon Saad looked as though he might end it when he got a breakaway with 38 seconds left in regulation, but shot the puck directly at Matt Murray.
"It was a fun game to be a part of," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "I think both teams played hard, played honest. Both teams gave up some pretty good scoring chances along the way. I just thought we stuck with it."
The two teams could see each other in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"When we play them, I think we know we need to be ready," Crosby said. "There's a different feel than a typical game. There's more intensity, it's more physical, so I think we prepare that way."