Crosby, Fleury put Pens in control

Apr 18, 2017, 01:37

Jake Guentzel scored a hat-trick as defending champions the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime of their National Hockey League playoff series.

The Pittsburgh Penguins sat tied with Columbus with less than 14 minutes left in overtime of the teams' first round playoff series. Counting his time in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, Guentzel has 41 goals, 39 assists and 80 points in 76 games.

Projected starter Matt Murray injured himself making a save in warm-ups before Game 1. That still wasn't enough to slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, who dealt the Blue Jackets a third straight playoff loss and put them on the brink of elimination. Calvert scored the first (in Game 1) while Brandon Saad had the lone tally for Columbus on Friday night.

The Penguins allowed a goal in the first 11 seconds and three goals in seven minutes at a hostile Nationwide Arena in Game 3 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Sunday. The 26-year-old winger provided a spark physically, running around like a wrecking ball early in the game laying the body to any and all San Jose Sharks.

Jake Guentzel, Penguins - There is not much left to say about the Penguins' stud rookie, except he has impeccable timing.

"He's been unbelievable, a big reason why we got these three wins, and it gives us a lot of confidence", Schwartz said of Allen.

The teams face off on Sunday in Game 3 in Columbus on Sunday.

His club-record 102nd playoff appearance looked an very bad lot like his 101st, when he held the Blue Jackets in check during an early push then waited for NHL's best offense to find its footing.

Seeing the Pens go hit for hit with the Jackets would satisfy a lot of fans back in Pittsburgh who would love nothing more than to see noted punching expert Tom Sestito get a start in Game 4 to settle some scores. He made 20 saves.

Mike Sullivan's decision to throw together Sidney Crosby, Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel was two parts pragmatism and one part experimentation.

Rust has averaged a goal every 5.6 games in the regular season and every 3.25 games in the playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were banged up in mid-March and needed a spark.

Jakob Silfverberg and Rickard Rakell scored first-period goals and John Gibson made 35 saves in the Ducks' 29th consecutive victory over the Flames at Honda Center. Are the Jackets forgetting to keep him involved as the game moves on?

"I put energy into the first period and got us on the board and thought we were rolling", Atkinson said.

Calvert was given a two-minute penalty, but there was only 30 seconds left.

The momentum lasted all of 51 seconds, or as along as it took for Crosby and Guentzel to break in 2-on-1.