Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals, and Cameron Gaunce added one of his own, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Jackets fell by a score of 4-3 Friday at Nationwide Arena.
Pittsburgh was first to get on the scoreboard. 4:13 into the opening period, Jarred Tinordi's shot rebounded right to Sam Miletic. He banged the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky to set the score at 1-0.
It took until the second period, but the Jackets responded. 20 seconds into the middle frame, Markus Nutivaara got the puck to Nick Foligno behind the net. Foligno carried it to the goal line before feeding Dubois who was playing left wing on a line centered by Lukas Sedlak. Dubois launched a shot from the blue line that beat Antii Niemi tying the game at one goal apiece.
The Penguins regained the lead late in the second. With a scrum of sticks coming at the puck near side, Bobrovsky thought he had the puck secured against the post. But the Penguins were able to knock the puck loose and into the net making it 2-1. Daniel Sprong was credited with the goal.
As has been the pattern in the Jackets' preseason games thus far, there was a goaltender switch for the third period. Tonight, Matiss Kivlenieks relieved Bobrovsky.
Sonny Milano earned his third assist of the preseason when he set up the score that tied the game at 2. 7:31 into the third period, Milano launched a cross-slot pass to Gaunce. The former Penguin's shot bounced off the cross bar and behind Niemi for the score.
Pittsburgh regained the lead but didn't have it for long.
Zachary Aston-Reese scored from the left circle after getting the puck out of a board battle. But 21 seconds later, Dubois brought the score even with his second goal of the night. He carried the puck to net front and angled a shot past the Penguins' netminder. Sedlak and Scott Harrington had the assists.
Olli Maatta ended up getting the deciding goal. With 1:33 to play, Mattaa knocked in a rebound to make it 4-3 which would stand as the final score.
The Jackets are now 0-2-1 in exhibition games this season.
There's no rest for this team. Two more games in the next two days await the Jackets. Next up is a rematch against the Blackhawks in Chicago. Puck drop is 8:30 ET. Watch for the game roster to be released Saturday morning.
By the numbers:
44:33: Amount of five-on-five play in tonight's game. With players adapting to new rules, Tortorella had been disappointed in how much even strength time there actually was in games to evaluate players. Tonight, he and his team got a lot of it.
0: Number of power play goals. Coaches are aware that new rules governing faceoffs and slashing calls will likely result in more special teams time, but even with seven power plays between the two teams Friday, neither could capitalize.
33: Doyle Somerby, who wears jersey #33, had a scary crash into the boards halfway through the first period after being tripped by Pittsburgh's Josh Archibald. Somerby got off the ice under his own power and after leaving the game to get checked out, returned to the ice and finished the game.
09-30: The Jackets will face the Penguins one more time in the preseason. Sept. 30 they travel to Pittsburgh for a 4 p.m. matinee.
"What they said."
Pierre-Luc Dubois on playing wing tonight: "At wing, it's easier to get used to the game, you have a little less responsibility in the D-zone so that's easier. in the offensive zone, it's pretty much the same thing. Wherever they put me, I'll play. I played every position last year so I don't mind."
Lukas Sedlak on his goals for camp: "Obviously every player wants to play more. I'm trying to do my best. I know the third line spot is there and I have some abilities to push for that spot so I'm trying to work hard and play my game."
Pierre-Luc Dubois on scoring two goals: "It feels good. They were my first two goals of the preseason so it feels good. Unfortunately, the game ends up in a loss but it feels good to get those out of the way and hopefully, there's a lot more coming."
Assistant coach Brad Shaw on Sergei Bobrovsky: "He's the ultimate professional. His preparation before, during, and after the game is second to none as far as any goalie I've ever been around in this game. He's still getting the kinks out just like everybody and there will be a little rust through the next couple games as well, but I expect when we see the Islanders here in Oct. he'll be razor sharp."