Blue Jackets Even Series at 1-1 with 4-3 Win in 2OT
The Columbus Blue Jackets came from behind to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in double-overtime on the road Saturday night in game two of the best of seven series. The win, which is the first playoff win in franchise history, evens the overall series at one game apiece as the teams head to Columbus for games three and four.
The Blue Jackets fell behind early in the first period when the Penguins’ Brian Gibbons scored two goals within a minute of one another to put Pittsburgh up 2-0. Less than a minute after Gibbons’ shorthanded second goal, though, Ryan Johansen answered back for the Blue Jackets with a power-play goal to bring the score to 2-1. However, later in the first period, Pittsburgh responded with a power-play goal of their own off the stick of Matt Niskanen to put the score at 3-1, where it stayed heading into the first intermission. The Penguins dominated the number of shots on goal in the first period, outshooting the Blue Jackets fifteen to four in that timeframe.
Columbus shifted the momentum in the second period, outshooting Pittsburgh fifteen to eight, despite being shorthanded for much of the early part of the period. During that time, the Blue Jackets brought the score to 3-2 off a shorthanded goal by Matt Calvert. There were a number of other opportunities for Columbus to tie the score, however, the game remained at 3-2 heading into the second intermission.
The Blue Jackets continued to outshoot the Penguins in the third period, taking twelve shots to Pittsburgh’s seven. Eventually, with just 6:01 left in the third period, Jack Johnson scored a power-play goal for Columbus to tie the game at 3-3. That score held for the rest of regulation, requiring the game to head to extra time.
Game Two was the first ever overtime playoff game for the Blue Jackets. Unlike regular season overtime games that are played four-on-four (plus the goalie), playoff overtime leaves the standard five skaters at a time on the ice for each team. Also, unlike regular season overtime that begins after just a one-minute rest and lasts only five minutes before heading to a shootout if necessary, playoff overtime begins after a complete intermission and consists of full twenty-minute periods played in a sudden-death format, where the first team to score wins.
The first twenty minutes of overtime went scoreless, ending with the Blue Jackets fighting off a power-play in the closing minute and twenty-seven seconds. The second overtime began with the Blue Jackets shorthanded for the first thirty-three seconds. Once they returned to full-strength, at just one minute and ten seconds into the second overtime session Matt Calvert clinched the game for Columbus with his second goal of the game and the 4-3 win.
The puck drops at Nationwide Arena for Game Three on Monday, April 21st at 7:00pm.
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