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Endgame: Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 2

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

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Post-Game: Dan Bylsma
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Game Day Report: Pens vs. Blue Jackets
What to Watch for: Pens vs. Blue Jackets

Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen made his NHL debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center. Sixty minutes and 22 saves later Thiessen recorded his first win in a 4-2 triumph.

The Pens had goals from Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, Kris Letang and Joe Vitale. Steve Sullivan and Matt Cooke each recorded two assists.

More on Thiessen’s milestone day here.

The Pens scored four goals against Columbus, but actually put six pucks behind Blue Jackets goalie Curtis Sanford. However, two of the team’s goals were waved off by the referees to the dismay of forward Chris Kunitz.

On the first disallowed goal, a puck squeaked through the body of Sanford and bounced in the blue paint. Kunitz tried to get his stick on the puck, but it went off his skate and into the goal. The goal was immediately waved off and a call to the league office in Toronto confirmed the ruling.

“We keep saying that Chris Kunitz has the lead in disallowed goals,” Dupuis joked. “It’s another one for him. The rollercoaster ride, the high of the goal and the low of being disallowed. I think we stuck with it and came out on top at the end with four goals.”

The second disallowed goal came with the Pens on a power play. After a faceoff win, the puck made its way back to Letang at the point. His low, hard shot rifled into the netting.

Unfortunately, the referees ruled that Kunitz interfered with Sanford. Thus, Kunitz was once again the victim of a disallowed goal, something his teammate joked about after the win.

“I think the referee doesn’t like him hanging out around the crease,” Letang said with a smile. “We’re going to have to find him another spot.”

The Pens coach echoed that sentiment.

“Chris was disappointed on the first one for sure because he tried to kick it twice and missed so when it went in he was pretty sure he was going to get a goal call there,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He was trying to kick it up to his stick and like he said, he’s not very good at soccer. He missed twice and the puck ends up in the net so he thought he was going to get that one.

“In terms of the other one I don’t know if it’s Chris Kunitz or a reputation where you have a team that wants to get to the net-front and talks about getting there. The referee is in tune to that. I don’t know if that’s Chris’ six or seventh or eighth goal that he’s been a part of that’s been disallowed. I have not seen the replay on the second one, but I’m judging by the reactions of the fans that they all thought it should have been a good goal.”

Letang’s third period power-play goal (and eventual game-winner) was poetic justice.

Letang put a puck behind Sanford after a faceoff win play, but the goal was waved off the by the referees (see above entry). Letang didn’t agree with the ref's ruling.

But a determined Letang would not be denied a second time. There was a scrum in front of the Columbus net and the puck slithered free.

Letang corralled the rubber in the near circle and blasted a slap shot through a Matt Cooke screen into the goal to officially register his ninth tally of the season.

“I saw the replay, but I didn’t really think the goalie was interfered with on the play,” Letang said. “I finally got it back by going to the net and I had a good screen.”

Forward Arron Asham was scratched from the game with an upper-body injury. Dustin Jeffrey stepped into his spot in the lineup.

Author: Sam Kasan
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