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NHL Playoffs: Penguins storm back for victory over Blue Jackets in Game 1

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Marc-Andre Fleury (right) and the Penguins had to battle for a comeback win over Columbus. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and the Penguins had to battle for a comeback win over Columbus. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

By Mike Majeski

On paper, the Penguins are heavy favorites over the Blue Jackets. Not only did Pittsburgh sweep Columbus in five regular-season games, but the Penguins are also an experienced playoff team with two of the biggest offensive weapons in the NHL. The Blue Jackets, who are making only the second playoff appearance in franchise history, have a young lineup and are without experienced veterans Nick Foligno, Nathan Horton and R.J. Umberger. But Game 1 of this series on Wednesday night showed that things aren’t always as they seem.

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  • Published On Apr 16, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

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    The Blue Jackets will have a hard time shutting down Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    The Blue Jackets will have a hard time shutting down Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    By Sarah Kwak

    Regular season recaps

    Nov. 1: Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 2

    Nov. 2: Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 0

    Dec. 9: Penguins 2, Blue Jackets 1

    Dec. 29: Penguins 5, Blue Jackets 3

    March 28: Penguins 2, Blue Jackets 1

    Notable injuries

    Penguins: C Marcel Goc (ankle, day-to-day); C Evgeni Malkin (foot, IR); LW Pascal Dupuis (torn ACL, IR)

    Blue Jackets: RW Nathan Horton (lower body, day-to-day); LW R.J. Umberger (upper body, day-to-day); LW Nick Foligno (lower-body, day-to-day)

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  • Published On Apr 15, 2014
  • Blue Jackets clinch playoff berth after beating Stars in makeup game

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    By Nick Stoico

    The Columbus Blue Jackets clinched a spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs after beating the Stars 3-1 on Wednesday night in Dallas. It is only the second time in the 16-year history of the franchise that the Jackets have earned a berth in the postseason tournament.

    The game was being made up after their March 10 matchup was postponed early in the first period after the Stars’ Rich Peverley collapsed.  The Jackets were leading 1-0 at the time and were allowed to keep that advantage for the start of the makeup game, which went the full regulation 60 minutes. [Boxscore] That goal had been scored by Nathan Horton, who was sidelined by a lower body injury for the restart. As a result, he now occupies an odd place in NHL history.

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  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • Nathan Horton leaves game vs. Coyotes with injury, history-making to follow?

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    Nathan Horton has been held to just 35 games in his first season in Columbus. (Gerry Broome/AP)

    Nathan Horton has been limited to just 35 games in his first season in Columbus. (Gerry Broome/AP)

    By Amy Lilek

    Nathan Horton has had a rough season battling injuries in his first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He made his return to their lineup on Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes, but it may have come a bit too soon.

    It was announced during the second intermission that Horton would not return to the game after he re-aggravated the lower-body injury that has kept him out of action since March 29.

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  • Published On Apr 08, 2014
  • Nathan Horton of Blue Jackets can make NHL history by not playing vs. Stars

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    Nathan Horton of the Columbus Blue Jackets

    Nathan Horton has a shot at becoming the answer to a vexing trivia question. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Word out of Columbus suggests that Nathan Horton will be out of the lineup for the Blue Jackets’ game against the Stars on Wednesday. In and of itself, that’s hardly news. The big winger has been hampered with injuries all season. He’s missed 40 games so far, four of them as a result of a lower-body issue that currently has him on the sidelines.

    But here’s the thing: Wednesday’s game in Dallas is something out of the ordinary. It’s the game that had to be suspended and rescheduled after the heart scare suffered by Rich Peverley of the Stars early in the first period.

    The league has announced that a full 60-minute contest will be played on Wednesday night, but that the Jackets will keep the 1-0 lead that they held at the time Peverley collapsed on the bench.

    And that goal was scored by Horton.

    So what we could have here is an NHL first: a player being credited with a goal in a game in which he does not play.

    There’s a bit of trivia to baffle your buddies, eh?

    Going by the way Greg Johnson’s holdover goal was dealt with in the wake of the 2005 Jiri Fischer health-scare postponement, the tally will be credited to Horton at 0:00 of the first and will not count as a shot on net in the contest.


  • Published On Apr 07, 2014
  • Mixed emotions in Columbus for Rick Nash’s return to Nationwide Arena

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    Rick Nash found himself at the bottom of this pile in a game that was as physical as it was emotional. (Mike Munden/AP)

    Rick Nash found himself at the bottom of this pile in a game that was as physical as it was emotional. (Mike Munden/AP)

    By Nick Stoico

    The big question heading into Friday night’s game between the Rangers and the Blue Jackets was whether Rick Nash would be welcomed warmly or booed in his first game back in Columbus since being traded in 2012.

    Just a day after Zach Parise received a not-so-warm welcome back to New Jersey, who would have thought Nash would get both?

    The initial reception was a little icy, as the Rangers winger was booed after being introduced in the starting lineup:

    It didn’t get much better when the game started, either.
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  • Published On Mar 21, 2014
  • SHANABANNED! Columbus’ Blake Comeau gets two games for boarding

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    By Allan Muir

    Columbus Blue Jackets forward Blake Comeau was handed the two-game special today by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for boarding Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.

    The video from Tuesday night’s game made for a pretty clear cut case for the DOPS boys. Comeau was tracking Smith from halfway across the ice and finished him off directly in the numbers about three feet from the boards. As Patrick Burke explains, the onus is on Comeau to avoid or at least minimize the contact when Smith is in a vulnerable position like that.

    The hit looked ugly, especially the way Smith’s head was driven into the boards, but since he was uninjured and able to finish the game, Comeau caught a break on the suspension.

    He will, however, have to fork over a serious chunk of change. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, he’ll forfeit $10,256.42 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.


  • Published On Mar 12, 2014
  • Confusion, fear inside American Airlines Center after Rich Peverley collapses

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    The players were visibly distraught around the bench after Rich Peverley collapsed. (Sharon Ellman/AP Photo)

    The players were visibly distraught around the Stars bench after Rich Peverley collapsed. (AP Photo)

    BY ALLAN MUIR

    I was at American Airlines Center tonight as forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the Stars’ bench and the game was subsequently postponed. The following is my rapid reaction to the events that transpired: 

    The play had just entered the Columbus zone when I heard sticks slamming against the boards.

    My first thought? Too many men on the ice. The guys always do that to get the attention of the officials on a bad change. The Stars had the puck so I started counting white sweaters. Two … three … but before I could get to five the sound had taken on urgency. The banging wasn’t just insistent now. It was frantic. I looked over to the benches and saw players from both sides pouring over the boards. A brawl? I heard someone near me say, “There’s an injury.” I looked around. There was no one down on the ice.

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  • Published On Mar 11, 2014
  • Stars-Blue Jackets game postponed after Rich Peverley collapses on bench

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    The Dallas Stars react after forward Rich Peverley collapsed on their bench.

    The Dallas Stars react after forward Rich Peverley collapsed on their bench. (AP Photo)

    By Mike McMahon 

    Monday night’s game between the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets was postponed after Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed suddenly on his team’s bench, sending teammates and coaches into a panic. Peverley was attended by medical officials before being transported to a local hospital, where he is now conscious and in stable condition, according to reports.

    MUIR: Scene of confusion, fear inside arena

    The incident occurred just 6:23 into the first period, and both teams rushed to the Dallas bench while yells for paramedics could be heard. The players were evidently shaken up, gathering at center ice for several minutes before exiting the ice. The game was delayed for almost an hour before the postponement was announced. 
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  • Published On Mar 10, 2014
  • Blue Jackets’ Marian Gaborik pulls out of Sochi Olympics

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    Marian Gaborik's chances of playing for Slovakia in Sochi were slim due to his injury. (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Marian Gaborik’s chances of playing for Slovakia in Sochi were slim due to his injury. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    On a day dominated by talk of who is, and who isn’t, going to Sochi, this news might be the least surprising so far.

    Injured Blue Jackets winger Marian Gaborik made it official today, announcing that he was removing himself from Slovakia’s roster for the 2014 Olympic Games.

    “I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team,” Gaborik said in a statement. “I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future.”

    MUIR: Henrik Sedin should stay home | St. Louis Canada’s best Stamkos sub?

    Gaborik had competed in two previous Olympic tournaments (2006 and ’10), scoring seven goals and 12 points in 13 games. He suffered a broken collarbone in a game against the Flyers on Dec. 21 and has yet to return to action.

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  • Published On Feb 06, 2014


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