The Columbus Blue Jackets overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 in the first period to score 3 unanswered goals to get the first playoff win in franchise history with a 4-3 double overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Brian Gibbons of the Penguins had 5 goals in the entire regular season, but got the Penguins out to a 2-0 lead early in the first. The icebreaker was a case of right place, right time as Matt Niskanen‘s point shot deflected in off Gibbons. Less than a minute later his speed and hands were on display as he broke away shortanded and put a nice deke on Sergei Bobrovsky to put the Pens up 2-0 before the game was 5 minutes old.
Ryan Johansen replied quickly on the same Blue Jackets power play, but Niskanen re-established the 2 goal cushion late in the frame with a point shot through a Chris Kunitz screen. That was all the offense the Penguins could muster as the Blue Jackets began chipping away.
Matt Calvert converted a shorthanded 3 on 1 by keeping the puck and putting a wrist shot far side on Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period and then in the third Jack Johnson tied the score on the power play, jumping in from the point and putting a rebound into a yawning cage.
The first overtime solved nothing, but just over a minute into the second extra period Calvert was persistent in front of Fleury, roofing the second rebound for his second of the game to make this a series.
This was the second time the Blue Jackets had qualified for the playoffs since joining the league in 2000-01. They were swept by the Red Wings in their first post-season appearance in 2009, so this was a landmark game for the franchise, who knotted the series with the powerhouse Penguins at a game apiece heading home for games 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday.
This series has been one of special teams. Of the 7 goals scored in this game, 3 were on the power play and 2 were shorthanded. In game 1 there were 3 power play goals and a shorty.
This win leaves the Atlanta Thrashers / Winnipeg Jets franchise as the only one that has yet to win a single playoff game.