The Pittsburgh Penguins had a much tougher time with the Columbus Blue Jackets in their opening series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they had the opportunity to eliminate the Blue Jackets on Monday night in Game 6 at Nationwide Arena.
Pittsburgh looked like a team possessed and determined to advance in the postseason, as they jumped out to an early four-goal lead. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin notched a hat trick in the first two periods, while Brandon Sutter scored the fourth goal.
It appeared to be smooth sailing for the Penguins heading in to the final period, but the Blue Jackets came alive in the final 20 minutes and made it a game.
A short-handed goal from Fedor Tyutin, power play goal from Artem Anisimov and even strength goal from Nick Foligno made it just a one goal game with five minutes to go and the Penguins were forced to dig deep in order to avoid an epic collapse and they were able to do just that and hung on to a 4-3 lead that sent them into the next round of the postseason.
It was a valiant effort from the Blue Jackets, who had their best season in franchise history, but it was not enough against the much more tested Penguins squad who will now wait for the winner of the Rangers and Flyers series.