They played with more energy, but the Pittsburgh Penguins played with more poise than the Blue Jackets on Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
Columbus outshot its ninth straight opponent, by a sizeable margin (37-23), but lost again, 5-2, because of its inability to create enough goals off those opportunities. The Jackets also fell behind 2-0 seven minutes into the game and never fully recovered.
"It's a tough way to start, to be down 2-0 right away on, really, a couple of … just wrist shots," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said, referring to goals scored by forward Riley Sheahan at 1:41 and defenseman Brian Dumoulin at 6:57, both deflected into the net. "Give them credit. They did a good job, as far as they deflected a lot of pucks tonight."
Artemi Panarin cut the lead to 2-1 at 9:29 of the first, but Sheahan scored a second time to re-establish the two-goal lead, 3-1, less than two minutes later. Columbus (29-25-5) played catch-up the rest of the game, eventually dropping its third straight game in regulation.
"They create offense very smart," said Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who allowed five goals on 23 shots. "It's very challenging to play against them. [They're] very smart offensively. They're not [going to] just shoot the puck on net and just hope that it [will] go in."
Wennberg scored the other goal for the Blue Jackets, while rookie forward Zach Aston-Reese and forward Jake Guentzel scored the final two goals for the Penguins (35-22-4), who won their fifth straight game.
"I thought we did some good things," Tortorella said. "I'm not going to get into a long talk on it, but we had some opportunities. I thought we played hard. I certainly felt we had more energy, and I think our physical play picked up, also. I can look for all the good things and all that, but we lose, 5-2."
Columbus also lost two more players to injuries, as neither captain Nick Foligno (lower-body injury) nor rookie defenseman Dean Kukan (upper body) finished the game.
Here's what we learned: