Matt Calvert’s first career playoff goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a big time needed boost. His second ended 14 years of no playoff wins for the franchise, the city of Columbus are celebrating this one tonight.
Calvert banged his own rebound past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned their first Stanley Cup playoff win ever with a 4-3 victory over the Penguins on Saturday night.
Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post. His first shot went into the goaltender’s right pad. He roofed his second into the top of the net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.
Game 3 is Monday in Columbus, let’s just say Nationwide Arena is about to be “live.”
The Blue Jackets trailed 3-1 after the first period, but Calvert’s short-handed goal in the second period changed the game completely.
Jack Johnson eventually tied it with 6:01 left in regulation. Ryan Johansen also scored the first playoff goal of his career for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky overcame a shaky start to finish with 39 saves.
Brian Gibbons scored twice and Matt Niskanen added his second goal of the playoffs, but Pittsburgh was outplayed for much of the 2nd and 3rd periods, which includes the two overtimes.
Pittsburgh, the best power play team in the NHL during the regular season, went just 1 for 8 with the man advantage, including 0 for 2 in overtime. Even worse, Columbus has two short-handed goals in as many games.
Both teams traded quality chances in the first overtime. Bobrovsky made an excellent blocker save on Sidney Crosby racing down and getting a piece on a rebound. Fleury stuffed R.J. Umberger from point-blank range earlier in the period.
There was no back-and-forth in the second extra session. Brandon Dubinsky started the winning play by finding Atkinson in front and Pittsburgh’s defense offered little resistance until the puck was on Calvert’s stick for the winner.
The Penguins knew they couldn’t afford a repeat of the first 21 minutes of Game 1, when the Blue Jackets knocked them around while streaking to a two-goal lead before Pittsburgh rallied to escape.
This time, the start wasn’t the problem for the Penguins. It was everything else.
We have ourselves a series now. Game 3 is on Monday, 7pm as the scene shifts to Columbus. Catch the game on FSN OHIO or NBC NETWORK.