Fleury makes late start, Penguins rush by Blue Jackets 3-1

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins meet Friday in game two of the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs at the PPG Paints Arena.

There has been some speculation that Murray was dealing with some sort of injury from a game last week, that perhaps the Penguins were prepared for the possibility they might have to switch to Fleury even before Murray tweaked something during the warmup. Pittsburgh's defense mostly handled things the rest of the way, but that first period was all about survival, and Fleury, who was only told he would start when he left the ice after warm-ups, was the reason the Pens survived long enough to score thrice in the second.

Murray, who was expected to start Game 1, suffered an injury with about eight minutes to go in Wednesday's warmup.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Bell Centre. Pittsburgh scored all three of their goals in the second period and cruised to a key victory. The Penguins took the season series with a record of 2-1-1 and finished just ahead of Columbus in the standings with 111 points at the conclusion of the regular season. Salas, who played for the U.S.in the last two Solheim Cups, fired a career-low 62 in the final round of the 2013 Lotte, then lost a playoff with Suzann Pettersen. Where the Penguins focus on speed to race by opponents, Columbus would just as soon mix it up, a study in contrast that could provide the most compelling series during the opening round of the playoffs.

Frank Vatrano added a goal for Boston in his National Hockey League playoff game, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.

"I'm thankful that Jimmy Rutherford kept Marc-Andre Fleury at the deadline", Jones said.

"I thought what they did really good in the first game they blocked a lot of shots", Tortorella said. They guys did a great job in front of me, too, all game long, blocking shots and taking rebounds away. Toward the end, I was getting a little better.

"I couldn't be happier for a better guy", defenseman Trevor Daley said.

Pittsburgh received a boost on Tuesday when All-Star center Evgeni Malkin was cleared to play after missing the final three-plus weeks of the season with an upper-body injury.

Right now, however, it looks like the Penguins are going to have to rely on both Murray and Fleury if they want to defend their Stanley Cup.

"There's some mojo against them in this (locker) room", Blue Jackets winger and longtime Pittsburgh nemesis Scott Hartnell said Tuesday. Penguins D Ron Hainsey played in his first Stanley Cup playoff game after 907 regular-season games.

Game 1: Maple Leafs at Capitals - Is this the year the Washington Capitals finally get over the hump? The Penguins went 1 for 3 on the power play.

  • Angelo Rivera