The Penguins got a natural hat trick from winger Jussi Jokinen in the second period but fell, 5-3, to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a preseason game Saturday at Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins are 1-2-1 in exhibition games going into the fifth of six such games against Chicago Monday night at home.
Columbus took a 3-0 lead on first-period goals by Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner and a second-period goal from Cam Atkinson.
Jokinen then scored the next three goals of the game, two of them set up by center Evgeni Malkin, for a 3-3 tie. Jokinen spent the game playing with Malkin and right winger James Neal, who also had two assists.
Jenner scored what turned out to be the winning goal at 7:21 of the third period, giving the Blue Jackets a 4-3 lead with a shot that glanced in off of Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. Derek MacKenzie added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
The game drew 18,004, most of them children who received tickets through an annual Penguins giveaway.
Up and at 'em
Pretty much only in training camp will this happen: The Penguins held an 8:30 a.m. game-day skate before the 4:08 p.m. start.
"It is not something that we would do in the regular season," coach Dan Bylsma said.
Usually with any sort of afternoon start or even an early evening start, the team jettisons its morning skate. But this is the preseason, and the Penguins had a day off Friday.
"You've got to come in and get the legs going, shake the cobwebs out," winger Tanner Glass said of the skate that started two hours earlier than a usual one at home would.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who started the game, readily admits he's "not a good morning person," but was still eager to have a game-day skate.
"Since we had the day off [Friday], I would rather skate," he said.
Fleury stopped 19 of the 23 Columbus shots he faced.
Ahead of the game
Columbus has become a frequent preseason opponent, but this year things are a little different because the Blue Jackets have switched from the Western Conference to the East and, under the NHL's realignment, are in the Metropolitan Division with the Penguins.
Bylsma said he and his staff have taken advantage of two exhibitions against the Blue Jackets, whom they will face five times in the regular season.
"Normally you maybe wouldn't pay attention to clips and video for scouting and tendencies because you might not see them again, but as early as that first exhibition game, we made a few notes saying that you could see a handful of things that we want to make note of," Bylsma said. "Playing twice in the preseason, we'll already have a pretty good scout for the regular season against them."
Mr. Social Media
Bylsma said he took a crash course in hashtags and all things Twitter when he was a guest tweeter Friday night at the Pirates game, taking over the team's Twitter account and offering pictures of himself in a Roberto Clemente jersey and comments on the game, as well as answering some fans' questions.
That apparently will not lead to Bylsma getting his own social media account.
"That's not under consideration at this time," he said.
Bylsma said he enjoyed his experience at PNC Park, although the Pirates' come-from-ahead loss to Cincinnati in 10 innings was disheartening.
He indicated that as the Pirates move toward the playoffs, the Penguins have some things planned so that players and staff can show support to their baseball counterparts.
• Game: Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks in the Penguins' next-to-last preseason game, Consol Energy Center.
• When: 7 p.m., Monday.
• TV: WPCW.
For more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly. First Published September 22, 2013 4:15 AM