Penguins notebook: Gibbons’ status is ‘day to day’

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Penguins coach Dan Bylsma didn’t elaborate, but the short news he delivered Sunday about winger Brian Gibbons might have been a best-case scenario.

Bylsma said Gibbons is considered “day to day.”

Gibbons scored the Penguins’ first two goals Saturday night in a 4-3 double-overtime loss against Columbus in Game 2 of the teams’ first-round playoff matchup. He left the game in the first period after playing just 2 minutes, 26 seconds.

It’s believed Gibbons got hurt absorbing a hit to his shoulder area, although there was some concern that the hit affected his head.

Gibbons, who in Game 1 was elevated to the top line, became the first Penguins rookie to have a multi-goal postseason game since 1993, when Shawn McEachern, Jeff Daniels and Martin Straka each did so.

For Columbus, coach Todd Richards declined to discuss the status of defenseman Fedor Tyutin, who left Game 2 because of an unspecified injury. Winger Nick Foligno, who is coming off of an unspecified injury, is likely to make his series debut tonight in Game 3 at Nationwide Arena.

Faceoff decline

Penguins center Sidney Crosby has shown an ability to come back strong when he has a slow start in the faceoff circle. He did it in Game 1 against Columbus, going 2-5 in the first period, 9-5 in the second and 4-1 in the third for a total of 15 wins in 26 attempts (58 percent).

It didn’t work out that well Saturday. Crosby was just 1-6 in the first period, 4-4 in the second period and 7-10 in the third for a total of 12 wins in 20 attempts (38 percent).

Before Game 2, Crosby talked about his drive to improve on slow starts.

“You’re starting a game — it’s not like you’ve taken 10 already. You don’t really get a great feel,” he said. “Sometimes you get some tough starts. If you do start off a little slowly, that desire or that want to win them increases because you are struggling a little bit and you’ve got to make sure you improve that.

“If anything, you probably get a little more desperate. Hopefully, you find ways to adjust — you jump in a little more. If they see you losing, [your teammates] know they might have to bail you out a little bit.”

Collectively in the series, the Penguins are winning 43.9 percent of their faceoffs, 50 of 114.

Bylsma suggested that there are times when his centermen take what is counted as a loss on a faceoff because of a planned push forward against the opposing player.

Still, anything less than going even on faceoffs doesn’t sit well with Crosby, who won 52.5 percent of his draws in the regular season.

“You want to get on the right side of things, get above 50 and get the puck,” he said.

There’s a bigger picture

Game 2 was the first playoff win in Columbus history. The Blue Jackets’ only other playoff appearance came in 2009, when they were swept by Detroit in the first round.

Only three members of the 2009 squad remain.

“We haven’t really worried a whole lot about the first win for the franchise because [most] of us weren’t around the last time they were in the playoffs,” defenseman Jack Johnson said. “This is a new team, a new groups of guys.

“We’re thinking big picture, trying to win the Stanley Cup.”

Johnson played 38:21 in the double-overtime game, the most ice time for a Columbus player in the postseason. He has three goals, 15 points in 14 career playoff games, including two goals, three points in the first two games against the Penguins.

‘Minor’ honors

Goaltenders Jeff Deslauriers and Eric Hartzell of the Penguins affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton have won the Harry “Hap” Homes Memorial Award for 2013-14. The award goes to the American Hockey League goaltender(s) with at least 25 games played on the team that allows the fewest goals.

Wilkes-Barre, which is headed to the AHL playoffs for the 12th season in a row, gave up a league-low 185 goals with a team goals-against average of 2.34.

It’s the third time in four seasons under coach John Hynes, and the fourth time in nine years, that Wilkes-Barre has had the best goals-against average in the AHL.


Crosby’s two assists in Game 2 extended his points streak against Columbus to 12 games, regular season and playoffs, dating to Oct. 21, 2006. He has five goals, 15 assists in the streak. … Crosby also has moved into third place in Penguins playoff history with 108 points, behind Mario Lemieux (172) and Jaromir Jagr (147). … The Penguins did not have practice Sunday before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, although injured center Marcel Goc and players who have been healthy scratches skated. The Blue Jackets held an optional practice at home. … According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Blue Jackets are just the fourth team in NHL history to win their first playoff game in overtime, joining the Blackhawks, Whalers/Hurricanes and Lightning. The Blue Jackets are the first to do so in a game that required more than one overtime period.

Seth Rorabaugh contributed to this report. Shelly Anderson:, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.

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