Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — Jack Johnson tied the game with 6:01 left in regulation and Matt Calvert scored off his own rebound 1:10 into the second overtime to propel the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3, evening the best-of-seven first round playoff series at a game a piece.
It was the the Blue Jackets first playoff win in franchise history.
“You always dream about being the hero in overtime,” Calvert said. “We battled for it and it didn’t come easy. We were down a couple goals at different times. The penalty kill was great when it had to be and it’s just a great feeling right now.”
The Penguins started the game strong, with center Brian Gibbons scoring two goals in the first five minutes of the game. but Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen answered, scoring 43 seconds after Gibbons second goal. Matt Niskanen took the momentum back by scoring his second goal of the series with 2:08 to play in the first, giving the Penguins a 3-1 lead.
Things continud to go the Penguins way after they received their second power play of the second period, but Calvert was able to gain control of the puck, take it down three quarters of the ice and wrist it past Marc-Andre Fleury’s glove side to make the deficit one.
“It gave hope to our guys,” Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards said. “It was 3-1 at the time and we scored to make it 3-2. You could feel it on the bench. After that I felt we played a very strong game.”
Johnson tied the game late in the third period when he scored his first career playoff goal off a fantastic pass from Johansen.
Game 3 is Monday in Columbus.
“We have to be better,” Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby said. “That’s really, I think, the bottom line. Right on through, whether it’s special teams or 5-on-5 we have to be better.”
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