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Sport Fleury makes late start, Penguins rush by Blue Jackets 3-1

06:15  13 april  2017
06:15  13 april  2017 Source:   ap.org

Penguins begin title defense against untested Blue Jackets

  Penguins begin title defense against untested Blue Jackets Forget about past history and playoff experience. The Pittsburgh Penguins insist those things won't matter when the puck drops on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their first-round series against Columbus Blue Jackets. So what if the Penguins have twice as many Stanley Cups (four) as the Blue Jackets have postseason wins (two)? Sure, it looks nice in a trophy case, but those things are designed to celebrate the past.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots in a surprise start in place of injured Matt Murray and the Pittsburgh Penguins opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a 3 - 1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

And the Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup defense started off on the right foot with a 3 - 1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their series. Fleury was excellent in Game 1, stopping 31 of 32 shots, including all 16 faced in a very busy opening period.

PITTSBURGH — Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots in a surprise start in place of injured Matt Murray and the Pittsburgh Penguins opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

Joe Starkey: Fleury makes GM Rutherford look like a genius

  Joe Starkey: Fleury makes GM Rutherford look like a genius Ran into an old-time goaltender on my way out of the Penguins’ locker room Wednesday night. The conversation started like this: Me: “How about Fleury tonight?” Ed Johnston: “Thank God Jimmy never made a move.” E.J. was talking about Penguins general manager “Jimmy” Rutherford, of course, the guy who’s done just about everything right since early last season. That would include, notably, holding onto Marc-Andre Fleury instead of trading him when trading him became a clear option beginning in July.

Fleury withstood an early push by the Blue Jackets and stopped 31 shots in all as the Penguins opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a 3 - 1 victory. Yet it was a push made possible only by Fleury 's hot start . "When he play like this it's much easier for us," Malkin said.

Fleury withstood an early push by the Blue Jackets and stopped 31 shots in all as the Penguins opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a 3 - 1 victory. Yet it was a push made possible only by Fleury 's hot start .

BOX SCORE: PENGUINS 3, BLUE JACKETS 1

Murray was scheduled to get the nod in the playoff opener but was a late scratch after suffering a lower-body injury during warm-ups. Fleury withstood an early push by Columbus, and the Penguins responded by pulling away from the untested Blue Jackets.

Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh. Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust also scored, and Evgeni Malkin assisted on Rust and Kessel's goals in his first game back after missing the final three weeks of the regular season because of an upper-body injury.

Matt Calvert scored for Columbus in the third period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves.

Game 2 is Friday night in Pittsburgh.

Fleury spent most of the season gracefully receding into the background while Murray took over as the No. 1 goalie after helping lead the Penguins to a championship last spring.

Penguins' Fleury to stay in net for Game 2 vs. Blue Jackets

  Penguins' Fleury to stay in net for Game 2 vs. Blue Jackets Marc-Andre Fleury will remain in net for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of their playoff series against Columbus while Matt Murray deals with a lower-body injury. Murray was scheduled to start Game 1 but left after suffering a lower-body injury in warm-ups. Fleury came on and made 31 saves as the Penguins cruised to a 3-1 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.Penguins coach Mike Sullivan offered no public update of Murray's status on Thursday, saying only there's no timetable for Murray's return.

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. Fleury makes late start , Penguins rush by Fleury withstood an early push by the Blue Jackets and stopped 31 shots in all as the Penguins opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a 3 - 1 victory.

Fleury withstood an early push by the Blue Jackets and stopped 31 shots in all as the Penguins opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a 3 - 1 victory. Yet it was a push made possible only by Fleury 's hot start . ''When he play like this it's much easier for us,'' Malkin said.

Rather than deal the career wins leader in franchise history at the trade deadline for depth elsewhere, Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford held on to Fleury, confident the club would need Fleury's services at some point.

That point came about 20 minutes before the opening faceoff, when Murray appeared to tweak something while stretching to make a save during his usual pregame routine. Enter Fleury, who skated onto the PPG Paints Arena ice to a massive ovation then spent the first period singlehandedly keeping the uncharacteristically flat Penguins in it.

The Blue Jackets, making just their third playoff appearance in franchise history, insisted they wouldn't be overcome by the stakes or the stage. For a long stretch at the start, they weren't. Columbus outshot Pittsburgh 16-3 in first period, peppering Fleury and hogging the puck.

Fleury's steady play helped Pittsburgh survive and it took just 3:45 for the Penguins to reassert their dominance.

Columbus' Zach Werenski gets hit in the face with puck, bleeds all over the ice as Penguins score

  Columbus' Zach Werenski gets hit in the face with puck, bleeds all over the ice as Penguins score Zach Werenski took some serious damage after a Phil Kessel shot hit him in the face.The 19-year-old Werenski tallied his first career postseason goal in the first period of Game 3, firing a gorgeous laser past Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. That goal gave Columbus an early 3-1 lead.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) stops a shot by Columbus Blue Jackets ' Scott Hartnell (43) during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. The Penguins won 3 - 1 .

In the 18 games he started from 2014 to 2015, Fleury registered a.919 SP and 2.32 GAA, even if it that happened to go along with an 8-10 record. Both teams posted a 2- 1 - 1 mark against the other and were in contention for the Presidents' Trophy until late in the season, with the Blue Jackets losing a

Rust finished a pretty sequence in which Malkin fed the puck to Kessel, who delicately kicked it to Rust in the slot. Rust ripped a shot over Bobrovsky's stick 1:15 into the second to give the Penguins the lead. Kessel doubled the advantage 150 seconds later, biding his time in the left circle on the power play then threading a wrist shot over Bobrovsky's glove to make it 2-0.

Bonino camped in front of the Columbus net then pounded home a shot on the doorstep 16:25 into the second to push Pittsburgh's advantage to three goals and the Blue Jackets never recovered.

After overwhelming the Penguins at the start, Columbus managed just 16 shots over the final two periods and never really came close to threatening as a matchup between the teams that finished with the second and fourth best records in the NHL looked one-sided.

NOTES: Malkin's two assists moved him past Jaromir Jagr and into third-place on the franchise's list for playoff assists (83), trailing only Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. ... Pittsburgh D Ron Hainsey skated 18:42 in his playoff debut after appearing in a record 907 regular season games without making an postseason appearance. ... The Penguins went 1 for 3 on the power play. The Blue Jackets were 0 for 2. ... Columbus fell to 2-9 all-time in the playoffs and 1-5 on the road. ... Fleury tied Tom Barrasso's club record for career playoff appearances (101).

Penguins beat Blue Jackets 5-4 in OT to take 3-0 series lead

  Penguins beat Blue Jackets 5-4 in OT to take 3-0 series lead Jake Guentzel had a hat trick, including a goal at 13:10 of overtime, to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night and give them a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series. Bryan Rust added two goals for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury overcame a shaky first period to make 33 saves. Guentzel is the first Pittsburgh to rookie to get a playoff hat trick.The defending champion Penguins will go for the sweep in Columbus on Tuesday night.After only scoring two goals combined in the first two games of the series, Columbus scored three goals in just over six minutes of the first period.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots in a surprise start in place of injured Matt Murray and the Pittsburgh Penguins opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a 3 - 1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets .

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots in a surprise start in place of injured Matt Murray and the Pittsburgh Penguins opened their Stanley The Blue Jackets , making just their third playoff appearance in franchise history, insisted they wouldn’t be overcome by the stakes or the stage.

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PHOTOS: 2017 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Fleury soaks in experience of setting Penguins' playoff wins record .
Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't scheduled to make any playoff starts for the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. Expected to serve as backup to Matt Murray, who backstopped the team to a Stanley Cup win in 2016, Fleury was pressed into action against the Columbus Blue Jackets when the incumbent fell prey to injury prior to the start of the postseason.

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