Still can't win in Pitt.
Johnny Gaudreau scored the opening goal of the game but two second-period goals from Sidney Crosby helped push the Penguins past the Blue Jackets 4-1 Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Gaudreau opened the scoring just 60 seconds into the game after receiving a cross-ice feed from Laine that he took to the left circle and fired a wrist shot past the glove of Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry, beating him top-shelf.
#CBJ goal: Gaudreau (9) assisted by Laine (3)— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) December 7, 2022
The Jackets had a good chance to double their lead when Kent Johnson found Gustav Nyquist in front of the net with a spin-o-Rama pass, but he was denied by Jarry with 10:56 left. Nyquist did draw a cross-checking penalty, but the Jackets couldn't convert on the ensuing power play.
The Jackets took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission along with a 10-9 edge in shots on goal.
The second period wasn't kind to the Blue Jackets.
Just 1:15 into the middle frame, Bryan Rust beat Elvis Merzlikins' five-hole from the left doorstep after a net-front scramble to tie the game.
Pittsburgh scored just 47 seconds later when Crosby fired a rebound from just outside the blue paint past Merzlikins.
With 15:56 to go, Merzlikins robbed Jason Zucker on a wrap-and-stuff chance from the left doorstep, keeping the deficit at one.
Crosby scored again, this time on the power play, at 10:14 from the right doorstep after deflecting a shot by Jake Guentzel.
Pittsburgh took a 3-1 lead into the final period of regulation and a 27-23 edge in shots on goal.
The Penguins went on the power play just 41 seconds into the period, but thanks to two huge blocks by Vladislav Gavrikov and a couple of saves from Merzlikins, they couldn't extend their lead.
Laine nearly cut the lead in half with 11:29 in regulation with a between-the-legs shot in front of the blue paint but Jarry denied him.
The Jackets had three good chances to score between the 9:24 and 10:21 marks. The first was a Cole Sillinger shot from the left circle, the second was a Nyquist shot from the right circle, and the third was a tip-in chance from Kirill Marchenko, who made his NHL debut along with Tim Berni. All three shots were stopped by Jarry.
Pittsburgh put the nail in the coffin with 3:27 left at four-on-four as Merzlikins was skating to the bench but had to retreat to try and save a shot by Rust from center ice, but couldn't stop Teddy Blueger, who was denied by Merzlikins on a second-period penalty shot, from the right circle.
The Jackets lost 4-1 and fell to 8-14-2 on the season.
- Shots on Goal: CBJ 39-34 PIT
- Faceoff %: CBJ 52.6-47.4 PIT
- Power play: CBJ 0/5-1/5 PIT
- Takeaways: CBJ 5-9 PIT
- Giveaways: CBJ 4-8 PIT
- Blocked shots: CBJ 9-25 PIT
- Hits: CBJ 27-29 PIT
No players left tonight's game with injuries.
The Jackets are back Wednesday as they'll host the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
Johnny Gaudreau will face the Calgary Flames for the first time in his career on Friday at Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio.