Penguins ramp up intensity, beat Blue Jackets in Game 5

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby and left winger Chris Kunitz react to a goal by Kunitz...

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby and left winger Chris Kunitz react to a goal by Kunitz against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period in Game 5 at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:10 PM ET

Dan Bylsma called out his Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday, unhappy with his team's compete level in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The message from the coach, as they say, got through.

The Penguins, thanks to a dominating performance in Game 5 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, find themselves within a victory of advancing to the second round after a 3-1 triumph Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal 3-2 and can wrap it up with a win in Game 6 in Columbus Monday.

The Jackets, on the other hand, have to beat the Penguins twice in two games to capture their first playoff series in franchise history.

From goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who rebounded from the double debacle that caused the Penguins to lose Game 4, on out, the Penguins were paced by their own determination and the Jackets didn't have an answer.

If not for goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the Penguins would have run away with this one, as they outshot the Jackets 51-24.

The capacity crowd of 18,618 was louder than it was in the first two games, and showed its support for Fleury by chanting his name before the game began and then kept it up through the night.

Jussi Jokinen scored the winning goal at 6:16 of the third when he poked a Brandon Sutter rebound behind Bobrovsky. But it was Lee Stempniak who made the goal happen, as he dangled high in the slot and got off a shot that required some patience.

Sidney Crosby hasn't scored a goal in the series and has gone 10 playoff games in a row without one, but he had his best game of the five, throwing six shots at Bobrovsky after totalling 12 in the first four games.

Chris Kunitz, and Kris Letang, into an empty net with 61 seconds remaining, also scored for Pittsburgh.

Boone Jenner scored for Columbus.


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Centre Marcel Goc made his series debut for the Penguins after recovering from an ankle injury, but defenceman Brooks Orpik, suffering from an undisclosed injury, did not play. With Orpik missing, 25-year-old defenceman Robert Bortuzzo played in his first NHL playoff game.

For the Jackets, defencemen Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray returned after missing two games and one game, respectively, with an injury.

Pittsburgh dominated Columbus in the second period, outshooting the visitors 21-8, but needed a power play to finally get one past Bobrovsky.

With James Wisniewski in the penalty box serving a cross-checking minor, Bobrovsky lost track of the puck on a rebound and was facing the opposite direction when Kunitz put it in the net. Crosby, who briefly heard a smattering of boos a few moments earlier, had an assist on the play.

He has been hounded by Jackets centre Brandon Dubinsky throughout the series, but it was Crosby who made a fine defensive play in the opening minute of the second when he got back to deny a 2-on-1 by Dubinsky and Jack Skille.

Bobrovsky has been burned in the series on odd-man rushes by the Penguins but made perhaps his best save when he kicked out a Stempniak shot on a 2-on-1 following the Kunitz goal.

The Jackets had a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes -- the lowest total production in the first period in the series -- thanks to a heads-up play by defenceman David Savard.

With the puck skittering around the crease in front of Fleury as bodies fell, the Penguins goalie appeared to have covered it. But Savard jumped in and poked the puck loose and directly to Jenner, who backhanded the rubber into an open net for his third goal of the series.

Pittsburgh took the words of defenceman Rob Scuderi to heed as they went for broke in the opening 20 minutes and beyond.

"We have to play without the burden of expectation and just play the game," Scuderi said Saturday morning. "We're confident we have a good team in here. We have good coaches, we have a good plan. But sometimes we are held back by the fear of losing.

"You have to accept losing as a possibility, but you can't let it paralyze what you are trying to do, which is win a series."

Bobrovsky was sharp, stopping all 15 Pittsburgh shots in the first 20 minutes, as he snared a Paul Martin shot from the slot and making another difficult save on Craig Adams.


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