Pittsburgh 3 – Columbus 1
The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a 3-0 start in the preseason, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center.
Evgeni Malkin broke open a 1-1 tie, scoring at the 2:47 mark in the 3rd period to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead and Arron Asham added an insurance goal, his second of the preseason at the 17:17 mark in the 3rd.
Asham led the way for Pittsburgh with 2 points on the night. Pascal Dupuis also scored for Pittsburgh beating Steve Mason with a wrist shot just inside the left circle with 3:12 remaining in the 2nd.
Marc Andre Fleury was strong between the pipes once again, making 32 saves on 33 shots to earn his second win of the preseason.
The game was filled with fights as Kris Letang was involved in two and Evgeni Malkin won a clear decision against Jackets winger Rick Nash late in the game.
The Penguins will host their final home game of the preseason Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Goal: 12:03 CBJ Michael Ratchuk
Assists: D. Brassard
Goal: 16:48 PIT Pascal Dupuis
Goal: 2:47 PIT Evgeni Malkin
Assists: Hutchinson & Tangradi
Goal: 17:17 PIT Arron Asham
Assists: Jeffrey & Kennedy
Post-Game Observations & Analysis
*Through three preseason games, Penguins coaching staff has not been shy about putting players on the bubble in positions to succeed. Tonight was no different as defenseman Corey Potter was paired with Brooks Orpik, working as the Penguins top pairing.
Potter who has emerged as a legitimate candidate to earn a roster spot out of camp, logged a team high 22:52 of ice time.
It is only the preseason but tonight’s performance was another positive step for Marc Andre Fleury.
*Tyler Kennedy had an assist in the game and continues to take positive steps forward to keeping a spot on the roster. Kennedy played with a ton of energy, was excellent on the forecheck and created a number of offensive chances. However, he has to start finishing plays offensively.
As for his developing role, head coach Dan Bylsma gave Kennedy a strong look on the penalty kill tonight. Kennedy had 3:06 of shorthanded ice time and is looking to become more versatile.
*Eric Tangradi has not been a standout during the preseason but he’s done the little things well. In evaluating his game, he drove to the net well and was effective on the forecheck which are good signs. On a negative note, took a bad offensive zone hooking penalty in the first period that coaches hate. Despite having a solid camp, still hearing he won’t open the season in Pittsburgh.