Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Booster Shot for Home Ice Penguins Handle Columbus in a Physical Game Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 1

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Booster Shot for Home Ice Penguins Handle Columbus in a Physical Game Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 1

Article excerpt

Some things, the Penguins just couldn't anticipate.

Like Brian Dumoulin scoring a goal.

It's hard to blame them, considering that he'd been shut out in his previous 150 regular-season games before getting the Penguins' third goal in their 4-1 victory against Columbus at PPG Paints Arena Tuesday night.

But there were other aspects of the game that the Penguins fully expected.

And got.

Especially the physical play of the Blue Jackets, who were credited with 45 hits, some delivered with malice aforethought.

"It was a hard game," Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz said.

And a good primer for what they will see if, as seems likely, they face Columbus in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"That's the kind of game they want to play," defenseman Mark Streit said. "That's how they've been successful."

Two Penguins forwards, winger Bryan Rust and center Matt Cullen, had their evenings cut short because of injury.

While it was not clear what happened to Rust, Cullen departed after appearing to be hit in the head by Columbus winger Scott Hartnell early in the third period.

"Guys are still dropping like flies," center Nick Bonino said. "We had a short bench the whole game."

Cullen participated in a Shirts-Off-Our-Backs promotion after the game, but did not speak with reporters.

Coach Mike Sullivan said he expects to have more information Wednesday on those injured players.

Meanwhile, defenseman Kris Letang, who missed his 20th consecutive game because of what is believed to be a back issue, was well enough to visit with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the locker room after the game, while left winger Chris Kunitz, who sat out his second game in a row, was getting around on crutches.

The Penguins have lost 271 man-games to injury and illness, and it's not clear when any of their injured players will rejoin the lineup. …

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