Blue Jackets notebook: Penguins end Bobrovsky ‘curse’
Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky allows a second-period goal by the Penguins.
PITTSBURGH — Talk of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky having a “Consol Curse” over the Pittsburgh Penguins had a shelf life of less than 12 hours.
Bobrovsky, who had uncommon success in the Consol Energy Center early in his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, found no such comfort last night. He was pulled at 3:01 of the second period after failing to cleanly glove a shot by Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, giving the Penguins a 3-0 lead. The Jackets lost 4-2.
Bobrovsky, who struggled mightily Sunday in a 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, was shaky from the start. Curtis McElhinney replaced Bobrovsky and could start again tonight in the rematch at Nationwide Arena.
That it has come to this with Bobrovsky is a bit of a surprise. Not only did he win the Vezina Trophy last season as the NHL’s top goaltender, but he fared well through the years against the Penguins. At Consol, he had been 3-1-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
“Playing against the Penguins in this building put him on the map in some regards,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “We’re going to try to get as many pucks at him and try to make him uncomfortable and see if we can’t break that ‘Consol Curse’ that he’s got for us.”
Consider it broken.
Mac is back
Center Derek MacKenzie was back in the lineup last night after missing Sunday’s game because of a pulled groin.
He was back in his usual spot, the fourth line, with rookie Michael Chaput sliding to left wing.
With Matt Calvert (groin) and Boone Jenner (leg) out of the lineup long term, the loss of MacKenzie made the Jackets noticeably slower.
“Those are the guys who provide a lot of that relentless skating and pressure and speed for us,” coach Todd Richards said. “You could see our game slow down (against Anaheim). Getting him back in the lineup … he just pushes guys to be faster. If you’re playing with Mac, you better be ready to skate.”
Mark Letestu was moved up to left wing on the No. 2 line with center Brandon Dubinsky and right wing Cam Atkinson for the start of last night’s game.