"It was even special teams and we found a way to get better five-on-five."
Indeed, all seven goals scored on Monday night were scored at even strength.
"I think it's been kind of up and down the last three games here. Throughout the games. Any team that gets the lead seems to find a way to give it up. But yeah, I thought we did a lot of good things and we stayed the course, stayed the course. Our power play I thought looked a lot better in terms of getting pucks to the net," said Brandon Sutter, who scored the Penguins' second goal by deflecting a Paul Martin shot past Sergei Bobrovsky.
Sutter echoed Jokinen's belief that, even though there weren't goals produced with the power play, it served as a catalyst to the victory.
Columbus coach Todd Richards agreed. And it's really a simple bit of math that supports that belief.
If you're using six forwards to kill most of your penalties and four defensemen, they expend an awful lot of energy chasing pucks around the ice, while the rest of your guys are waiting.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a team that is most effective when rolling four lines and crashing and banging opposing teams.
It would behoove the Blue Jackets to stay out of the box moving forward, and when he was asked about some of the calls that went against his team, Richards declined to answer.
"I thought when we got that third goal that was going to be the difference," Columbus forward R.J. Umberger said.
"But they didn't quit. They're an experienced group and they kept coming."
And let's be clear here, it's not like the Penguins are a disaster.
They killed off all four Columbus power plays.
Fleury, after the rocky start, was fine and has for the most part out-played Bobrovsky throughout this series.
The Orpik goal, for instance, was a shot Bobrovsky had a clear line of sight on but couldn't coral.
And the Penguins limited the Blue Jackets to just 20 shots on the night, five in the third period, while they launched 41 at Bobrovsky.
Someone asked Orpik if he was worried that the stats sheet had the Blue Jackets out-hitting the Penguins by an absurd 65-32. For those keeping track at home that would be more than one hit a minute for the entire game for the Blue Jackets.
"I don't know. I feel pretty good. If you look at the shots, I think shots and goals are what really matter," Orpik said.
As for the physicality, "it definitely wears you down but if you have the puck it's tough to hit people. I thought we had the puck a lot tonight. They want to win that stat then that's good for them," Orpik added.
That's two years in a row that Orpik has scored a big goal for his team in the playoffs. He ended the Pens' 2013 first-round series against the New York Islanders with an overtime goal in Game 6, and his goal Monday was key to getting his team back into some sort of rhythm.
"Yeah the goal was big. But I was just saying we were confident when we were down 2-0. We were playing a lot like we did in the first period the other night, playing the right way, and just couldn't get one by Bobrovsky, [who] made a lot of big saves for them," Orpik said.
And here's the thing, no team gets to skate around with the Stanley Cup after winning four games to get out of the first round let alone two to take a one-game series lead.
Whether it's the Pittsburgh Penguins who have been off kilter a bit in taking the series lead or the Blue Jackets who have let a couple get away from them, this series is still very much in question.
In terms of the impact of this loss, Richards said he had no special message for his plucky troops.
"You have to be able to put things behind you," Richards said. "Whether it's an emotional win or a tough loss, you have to put it behind you."
In some ways, the Penguins will be looking to put this win behind them, too, as they continue to look to sharpen the focus on their own playoff picture.