Skip to content

Blue Jackets gain first-ever playoff win, tie series with Penguins 1-1

Apr 19, 2014, 10:54 PM EDT

The Columbus Blue Jackets accomplished a lot of playoff firsts, but the most important came when Matt Calvert scored his second goal of Game 2. His overtime-winner early in the second OT gave Columbus a 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, tying the series at 1-1.

The Penguins seemed like they were going to run away with the game on Saturday after taking a 3-1 first period lead and enjoying a 15-4 shot disparity, but Columbus showed its rat-like resiliency to come back. The Blue Jackets generated a 27-15 shot advantage in the second and third periods to send the game to OT, feeding into their scrappy reputation while bringing Pittsburgh’s focus into at least some question.

There’s something oddly fitting about Calvert’s game-winner coming pretty soon after the Blue Jackets killed a Penguins power play. In a way, it was the moment that one team finally scored a big goal at even strength.

Special indeed

As much as the Blue Jackets spoke about making things come down to 5-on-5 play, both games have revolved around special teams work. That was especially true in Game 2.

Before that overtime tally, only one goal (Brian Gibbons‘ first of two tallies) came at even strength. Only two of the Blue Jackets’ seven goals have come at even strength while three of Pittsburgh’s seven tallies were outside of special teams. The Jack Johnson goal that sent Game 2 into OT came on the man advantage, for instance:

In other words, both teams have been living and dying by the power play.

Stars factor in

source: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Through one period, it seemed like Sergei Bobrovsky‘s naysayers might be emboldened as he allowed three goals on 15 shots.

The 2013 Vezina Trophy winner really turned things around after that, however, stopping a game’s worth of Penguins scoring attempts (being that the contest went into a second overtime and he didn’t allow a goal since the first period). Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 41 out of 45 shots and often kept the Penguins in the game, although some will still place a lot of blame on Fleury.

As far as the Penguins’ star players go, Sidney Crosby had two assists but Evgeni Malkin couldn’t get on the board despite five shots on goal. While Calvert will garner his fair share of praise, this series might really be a moment for Ryan Johansen to gain some more mainstream attention; the rising star had a goal and an assist in Game 2.

***

Ultimately, the Blue Jackets can stop rolling their eyes at most “first” stats and focus on a more legitimate one: their first-ever playoff series win. From Pittsburgh’s perspective, there might be a feeling of deja vu; they saw the upstart New York Islanders tie their first-round series after their long absence from playoff play last year.

Latest Posts
  1. Looking to make the leap: Reid Boucher

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Stefan Matteau is in the conversation, too.

  2. Oilers’ Schultz admits it’s too early for Norris talk

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    His new deal earned more than a few critics.

  3. Boudreau doesn’t know how Ducks goalie situation will ‘shake out’

    Aug 30, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Bruce Boudreau AP

    Frederik Andersen and John Gibson both have a shot at being No. 1.

  4. What if the Blue Jackets and Johansen don’t reach a deal?

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

    Ryan Johansen Getty Images

    The two sides are not budging in contract negotiations.

  5. Under Pressure: Cory Schneider

    Aug 30, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

    Cory Schneider AP

    Will try to guide the Devils back to the postseason after two straight seasons without playoff hockey in New Jersey.

  6. Binghamton Senators unveil new jerseys

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Will wear a different look in 2014-15.

  7. Ryan Smyth keeping busy as camp approaches

    Aug 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    ryansmythgetty Getty Images

    After playing over 1,000 NHL games, he’s enjoying the time away.

  8. Report: Devils sign Pelley, add depth

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    Image (1) NewJerseyDevils_logo-thumb-250x243-22093.gif for post 15654

    RFA David Wohlberg joins Albany

  9. Devils’ Gomez considered retirement

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT

    Scott Gomez AP

    After spending portions of last season as a healthy scratch, he’s looking to revive his career in New Jersey.

  10. Will Jagr finally show his age next season?

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:11 AM EDT

    New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Father Time always wins … eventually.

  11. Trotz (kinda) downplays doubts about working with Ovechkin

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Washington Capitals Introduce General Manager Brian MacLellan And Coach Barry Trotz Getty Images

    ” … Until we go into the season and start playing real games, our relationship will be fine.”

  12. It’s New Jersey Devils day on PHT

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Adam Henrique, Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder AP

    Can they shoot out of mediocrity?

  13. Looking to make the leap: Ryan Spooner

    Aug 29, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Can he fit in well enough to embrace this opportunity?

  14. Poll: How should Boston handle its cap crunch?

    Aug 29, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    marchboy Getty Images

    Should they make a move or play hardball with free agents?

  15. Nicklas Backstrom finally got his silver medal today

    Aug 29, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

    backstromsilver

    “I’m sleeping with it tonight.”

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Anderson (1660)
  2. B. Bishop (1596)
  3. M. Fleury (1532)
  4. D. Alfredsson (1486)
  5. J. Harding (1356)
  1. C. Price (1242)
  2. M. Staal (1159)
  3. D. Setoguchi (1158)
  4. A. Ekblad (1136)
  5. J. Giguere (1118)