Penguins Update: What a Comeback – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Update: What a Comeback

WOW. That was my initial reaction to the Penguins’ stunning 4-3 win over Columbus in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Monday night.

pp0456After spotting the Blue Jackets an early two-goal lead, the Pens erupted for four goals in the final 20 minutes and change to snatch a dramatic victory from the jaws of certain defeat. Just as important, the Pens displayed remarkable resilience and a cast-iron chin. They took the Blue Jackets’ best punch and kept on swinging.

“We knew they were going to come out hard,” Brandon Sutter said.

Boy, did they ever. Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson scored for Columbus before the game was four minutes old, stoking the capacity crowd at Nationwide Arena into a frenzy. The callow young Blue Jackets had the Penguins reeling against the ropes, awaiting the knockout blow.

It was gut-check time. Instead of dropping to the canvas, the Pens battled back with a savagery that had been missing from their previous efforts.

Indeed, if the disastrous Game 2 giveaway represented the Pens at their worst, Game 3 was the black and gold at their very best. They were fast, aggressive, and relentless. They outshot the Blue Jackets 41-20. They did a good job of protecting Marc-Andre Fleury, who rebounded to make 17 saves following a rocky start. Although outhit, 65-32, it neither slowed nor deterred them.

Talk about rising to the occasion. Has anyone scored a bigger goal in recent Pens’ playoff history than Brooks Orpik? Not unless you count Sutter’s tally just minutes after Cam Atkinson gave Columbus a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead.

Likewise, Lee Stempniak’s nifty goal off the rush to knot the score at 3-3 was a sight to behold. As was the delicious deflection that bounded in off of Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski (credited to Jussi Jokinen) at 8:06 of the third period for the game-winner.

Make no mistake. This was a huge win for the Penguins. Huge.

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  1. April 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm. I was at the game Saturday night when they showed that he had just passed Kevin Stevens for the franchise’s all time post season points list…..

  2. April 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why everyone worries about Fleury clutching in the playoffs. It’s Crosby and Malkin that freeze up. I don’t care if Crosby scores 500 goals in the regular season. If he can’t score in the playoffs he’s a waste of money.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      April 23, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Hey Sue Ann,

      Following last year’s playoff meltdown, Fleury’s been solid if not airtight. Two encouraging signs:
      1. He’s catching and freezing the puck when things get hectic, something he hasn’t done in the past; and
      2. He’s keeping his cool and showing a lot of mental toughness.

      Your comment about Crosby prompted me to do a little research (see “Sid and Geno by the Numbers”).

  3. Georgia's Gravatar Georgia
    April 22, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Bout time they gelled now they need to stay that way!!!

  4. Llyana's Gravatar Llyana
    April 22, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Damn straight!

  5. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    April 22, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Hells ya


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