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Columbus falls short against Pittsburgh

Evgeni Malkin's hat trick in game six clinched the series for Columbus.
Evgeni Malkin's hat trick in game six clinched the series for Columbus.
Photo by Kirk Irwin

The Pittsburgh Penguins are perennial Stanley Cup contenders. The Columbus Blue Jackets were in the playoffs for the second time ever, look for their first playoff win. Would it be a competitive series? Yes, very much so. In the end, Pittsburgh did win, but it took them six games, and they were not easy wins.

In fact, five of the six games in this series ended with a score of 4-3. The other game was 3-1 in favor of Pittsburgh. Two of the games went into overtime, both of which Columbus won. So, it took them a bit more time to overcome the Penguins, I suppose. Still, the Blue Jackets have now won two playoff games in franchise history. One of them was at home too, which was nice for their fans, I imagine.

I got pretty enthused about this Columbus team, actually. They don't have big names, but it was enjoyable to watch them, and it was cool to see them get some postseason wins. However, in the end, they don't have as much talent as Pittsburgh. They won one game in part due to the traditional postseason issues of Marc-Andre Fleury. Also, Sidney Crosby did not have a particularly good series. He was strong defensive as always, but he didn't really score. Evgeni Malkin was a slow starter too, but he scored a hat trick in the clinching game six.

In the end, we got what we expected, the Penguins are in the second round, and the Jackets have gone home. Still, it was a nice step for the Columbus franchise. It gave them some traction and some coverage on a national level. Maybe they can build on that. They have talent, especially in goal. As for Pittsburgh, they will be expected to win again in round two, and their troubles with Columbus isn't going to make anybody too confident in them.