They capitalize…We didn’t.
That’s some of what Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella had to say after a 4-2 loss on the road to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Defenseman Scott Harrington got Columbus on the board first, but it was the Pens who led 3-1 after the first 20 minutes of action.
The first Penguins goal came due to a missed coverage following a lost faceoff. Tanner Pearson got a rebound and beat Joonas Korpisalo after a save was made on an initial shot by Phil Kessel.
Team Captain Nick Foligno had this to say about Columbus’ performance and the opponent they were facing:
We were just a little too loose on our coverages…and they made us pay. That’s a good team…They have firepower, they’re dangerous and we just kinda let them get some pretty easy looks and, and some of those plays are second efforts or second whacks at pucks and…they’re gonna make you pay when you do that.
Sydney Crosby had one heck of a 1st period and was credited with primary assists on the next two goals, which were each scored by Jake Guentzel.
It seemed the tide may have been swinging in favor of Columbus in the second period when Cam Atkinson beat Casey DeSmith to cut the deficit to 3-2. Atkinson, who’s now scored goals in seven consecutive games, is clearly aware of his flare for putting the puck in the back of the net as of late:
When you have the hot stick you gotta, you know, shoot a little bit more and good things happen.
While good things continued to happen for Cam individually, it wasn’t enough to produce a win for his team. Guentzel put a rebound home to complete his first career hat trick on what would be the final goal of the game at the 15:54 mark of the 2nd period.
Torts wasn’t pleased with the first and fourth goals of the game for Pittsburgh:
I think we game em’ two free ones. And you can’t.
He also noticed a specific defensive flaw in Saturday’s showing:
One of our weaknesses tonight was around our net. I don’t think we’re strong around the net.
While Tortorella made it a point to express his team had played well for plenty of minutes on the night and with plenty of effort, there was a different tone from Defenseman Seth Jones after the game. Jones said the team did give up some “freebies” and had this to say about the loss:
We just gotta compete a little bit harder…They’re (Pittsburgh) a skilled team. They’re a veteran team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets ended up with a cumulative record of 1-2-0 on the week and currently are second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Washington Capitals. Columbus will take their talents to the state up north on Monday night, as they’ll face the Detroit Red Wings. The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:30 PM ET.