2014 NHL Playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins Wake Up After 1st Period, Take Series Lead

By Brandon Fitzpatrick
Pittsburgh Penguins playoffs
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After the first period, it looked like the Pittsburgh Penguins were headed towards another disaster. They were down 1-0, the crowd was antsy and the players looked disinterested. The Columbus Blue Jackets were in their head and had the Penguins right where they wanted them. The thing about that is that hockey games are 60 minutes long, not 20, and the Blue Jackets found that out the hard way.

The Penguins woke up after the first period and took it to the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets’ goaltender, was peppered with shots after the first period. In the second period, the Penguins had 21 shots on goal. During the second intermission, Bobrovsky probably looked like the goalie from Slap Shot, trying to make saves in the locker room.

The only fault in this game for the Penguins has to be the continued ineptitude of their two stars, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Both stars have not had a goal yet in this series, but they have combined for nine assists, including one by Crosby tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury only faced 24 shots, but played well after his Game 4 gaffe cost the Penguins the game. Chris Kunitz got the huge tying goal that got the crowd back into the game, and Jussi Jokinen scored the eventual game winning goal to get the Penguins going. Kris Letang added an empty-netter to seal the deal.

For the fifth time in as many games, the team that scored the first goal failed to win the game. This time the score did not end 4-3, but 3-1. The Penguins showed why they were the heavy favorites in this series. After a miserable first period, the Penguins woke up and dominated the rest of the game en route to a 3-2 lead in the series.

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