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Columbus Bus Trip Running Diary

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins are traveling to Columbus on a bus to play their pres-season game against the Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. We will be tracking the team's day with a running diary.

1:14 AM:
The Penguins arrive back at Southpointe and will jump in their cars and head home for the evening for some much needed rest.

10:26 PM

Players and coaches are on the bus heading back to Pittsburgh.

10:06 PM:
Here is an update on Crosby's groin injury.

7:04 PM:
The teams are taking the ice and it's time to get this game underway.


20:00: Puck dropped and the game begins.

19:45: Bylsma sends out and interesting combination on the second shift with Crosby, Malkin and Rupp.

19:09: Chris Conner's speed created a two-on-one for the Penguins but Jordan Staal's one-timer sailed just wide.

18:58: Columbus gets on the board early with a fluky goal. Fleury tried to cover a bouncing puck but couldn't. A scrum ensued around the Penguins' cage and Michael Blunden was there to stuff it in. Blue Jackets 1, Penguins 0.

Rick Nash intercepted a Penguins clearing attempt, walked into the high slot and ripped a shot. But Fleury was there to consume the puck.

Penguins tie the game with a goal from Evgeni Malkin. Kennedy threw a shot on net and the rebound caromed into the high slot. Malkin snatched the puck and lifted a shot over the shoulder of Steve Mason. Penguins 1, Blue Jackets 1.

10:06: Bissonnette dropped the gloves with Mathieu Roy. The two traded heavy blows before they both fell to the ice. Bissonnette has to be leading the NHL in fighting majors now. He's averaing seven a game (OK maybe not that many but it seems that way).

Roy gets slapped with a slashing penatly and Pittsburgh goes on the power play.

9:10: Pittsburgh native RJ Umberger just had a shorthanded breakaway. However, Fleury was there to deny him of a score.

7:39: Sidney Crosby left the game with a tight groin. He will not return as a precautionary move.

2:41: Malkin just had a great chance on the Blue Jackets doorstep but Mason blocked away his shot.

:40: Columbus had a great chance with a two-on-one. Derek MacKenzie carried the puck into Pittsburgh's zone and whipped a shot on net. Fleury kicked away the puck.

0:00: The first period comes to an end with the game tied at 1-1. Goligoski made a smart play just before the clock expired. He knocked down a clearing attempt at the Columbus blue line and got a solid shot on goal.

The Blue Jackets hold a 10-8 edge in shots.


19:45: Fleury made two point-blank saves on Umberger right atop the crease.

17:28: Fleury made another great save by stretching to get his blocker on a Andrew Murray shot from the point.

15:34: Umberger gets called for tripping and the Penguins go on the power play.

13:38: Nash takes a high sticking penalty on Kris Letang as the initial penalty was about to expire. Pittsburgh will have a 5-on-3 for four seconds.

11:15: Columbus kills off both penalties. Back to even strength.

10:01: Right off the faceoff Bissonnette drops the gloves with Derek Dorsett. Bissonnette got the better of that brawl, landing several shots to the head before body slamming Doresett to the ice. Is that 49 fights for Bissy in 3 games? Or does it just seem like that?

8:35: Malkin and Fedotenko had a two-on-one chance but Fedotenko couldn't control Malkin's pass. Seconds later Fedotenko had a chance from between the circles but Mason kicked the puck away.

7:22: Nash steals the puck from the Penguins and heads in on net for a breakaway. Fleury makes a sprawlling toe save but the rebound squirts into the slot where Derick Brassard flipped it into the open cage. Blue Jackets 2, Penguins 1.

Letang heads to the penalty box for tripping. Columbus has its first power-play opportunity of the game.

5:53: The Blue Jackets convert on the power play with a goal from Rick Nash. Brassard had the puck along the near wall and hit Nash on the opposite side of the ice. Nash rifled a shot into the top corner. Blue Jackets 3, Penguins 1.

1:15: The Penguins tie the game on a goal by Pittsburgh native Nate Guenin. Kunitz made a great play stick handling around the Columbus cage and found Guenin above the circles. Guenin threw the puck into the far side of the cage. Blue Jackets 3, Penguins 2.

0:00: The second period concludes with Pittsburgh trailing Columbus, 3-2. Columbus holds a 20-19 edge in shots.


Kennedy and Columbus' John Moore go toe-to-toe. Gotta give this win to TK, who landed several shots to the head before Moore pulled them both to the ice.

Kunitz gets an extra two for slashing. Blue Jackets go on the power play.

15:32: Pittsburgh kills the penalty but Rupp gets a two-minute penalty for holding. Another Blue Jackets power play.

14:21: Kunitz had a great shorthanded opportunity. The puck was bouncing towards the Columbus goal and Kunitz was able to whack the airborn rubber towards the goal.

13:15: Matt Cooke goes to the box for interference.

12:55: Fleury makes a big save on Grant Clitsome, who drilled a heavy slap shot on net.

11:02: Fleury makes another point-blank save, this one on David Liffitin.

9:55: Columbus increases its lead with another tally. There was a scrum in front of the Penguins net and the puck slid free. MacKenzie found the puck and lifted a backhander over top of Fleury. Blue Jackets 4, Penguins 2.

8:34: Fleury makes another great stop on a Columbus three-on-one chance.

7:55: Pittsburgh goes on the power play as Brassard goes to the box for slashing.

7:48: Bill Guerin takes a shot that gets through Mason but trickles to the side of the net.

6:48: Malkin goes to the box for high sticking and we go to four-on-four.

4:21: Roy goes to the box and Pittsburgh goes on the power play.

2:41: Jakub Voracek scores a shorthanded goal to extend Columbus' lead. Blue Jackets 5, Penguins 2.

2:19: A brawl breaks out between the two teams and Roy and Rupp drop the gloves. Things are getting heated in the closing minutes of the game.

2:05: Things are starting to get ugly. Jay McKee throws down with Dorsett and both men leave the game. How many more fights will there be in the final two minutes? We'll set the over-under at 2. Place your bets.

Before the ensuing puck drop Matt Cooke and Alexandre Picard exchange pushes and are immediately thrown out of the game.

2:02: Now Engelland and Liffitin are fighting. Engelland got Liffitin in a headlock and unleash a series of blows to the head. Advantage Engelland. That means we're only one more fight away from a push.

0:00: And that concludes the game from Columbus. Blue Jackets prevail 5-2. Time to head down to the locker room before boarding the bus for Pittsburgh.

6:31 PM:
Both teams have taken the ice for their pre-game warmups. Here are some pre-game shots.

A shot from the Penguins' bench

The Penguins warm up pucks, stacked and ready to go

Seat view

Jumbotron shot

The canon and "Carry the Flag" banner

The arena entrance

Nationwide Arena District. It really is a beautiful and well developed area

View from the Columbus press box

5:58 PM:
I just heard that some Penguins fans held a peaceful protest in Pittsburgh in which the crew wore Penguins jerseys, held a fake Stanley Cup and chanted "Let's Go Pens!"


4:37 PM:
The Penguins players and coaching staff arrived at Nationwide Arena to prepare for tonight's game.  The game starts at 7 p.m.

2:20 PM:
Just crossed state line into Ohio.

1:38 PM:

Head coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday's pre-season game:
This will be coached a little bit differently. Our power-play units and penalty kill units are more like we would see in the regular season. It’s not a full lineup. We have four veterans out of the lineup and (Brent) Johnson’s not in as a goalie today. It should look more and more like a game that you would see in the regular season. Our players will be put in spots that they would normally be put it, and ice times will probably reflect more what they would look like if everything went to plan in a regular season game versus trying to give everybody a few more shifts throughout the game than you normally would. We got two games to be ramped up and ready to go for the opener, so (pre-season games) five and six should look a lot like it will look on (Oct. 2).

1:33 PM:
All aboard and onward to Columbus.

12:01 PM:
The Penguins equipment staff load the team's gear onto a truck that will carry the equipment to Columbus.


11:30 AM:
The coaching staff conducted a team meeting with the players to go over strategy and other points for tonight's game.

11:02 AM:
The Penguins are starting to come off the ice and the locker room has been open for the media to conduct post-practice interviews.

10:30 AM:
Here are some pictures from Penguins' morning skate practice.

10:14 AM:
Here are tonight's lineups and other game information.

9:58 AM:
The players are taking the ice now at Southpointe for their morning practice.

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