COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jake Guentzel had a hat trick, including a goal at 13:10 of overtime, to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday night and give them a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Bryan Rust added two goals for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury overcame a shaky first period to make 33 saves. Guentzel is the first Pittsburgh rookie to get a playoff hat trick.
The defending champion Penguins will go for the sweep in Columbus Tuesday night.
Cam Atkinson had two goals for Columbus, and Zach Werenski and Brandon Dubinsky also scored. Sergei Bobrovsky had 42 saves.
After only scoring two goals combined in the first two games of the series, Columbus scored three goals in just over six minutes of the first period.
But the Penguins regained their composure and pushed back hard during the second period to tie the score at 3-3.
At 5:21, Rust got his second goal of the series when he tipped Brian Dumoulin’s shot through Bobrovsky’s pads. Then, with Werenski flat on the ice bleeding profusely from a puck to the face, Rust got another one when he redirected a shot from Evgeni Malkin to tie the score at 13:25. Werenski returned in the third period with a full facemask and a significant cut and bruise under his right eye.
The teams traded goals in the third period before Guentzel beat Bobrovsky for the winner.
With Dubinsky in the box for cross-checking, Guentzel got his second goal of the game 11:48 into the third period to give the Penguins the 4-3 lead. Dubinsky made amends, though, jumping on a rebound and banging it past Fleury at 15:11 to tie the score and force OT.
Eleven seconds into the game, Dubinsky put a shot on Fleury’s pads and Atkinson was in the right place to score on the rebound, pumping up a sold-out Nationwide Arena crowd hungry for some playoff prosperity.
Pittsburgh answered three minutes later. Guentzel played the ricochet off the back boards to the left of the net and beat Bobrovsky from a severe angle.
Atkinson got his second goal at 5:02 of the first when he picked Sidney Crosby’s pocket at the right circle and beat Fleury with a backhand. Sixty-eight seconds later during a power play, Werenski’s wrister from the top of the left circle clanged off the bar and into the top of the net to put Columbus up 3-1.
Columbus was penalized twice for having too many men on the ice. ... Pittsburgh C Nick Bonino took a puck in the face in the first period and immediately left the ice. He returned later in the period. ... F Sonny Milano was recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League to replace Matt Calvert, who was suspended a game for breaking his stick on Pittsburgh’s Tom Kuhnhackl on Friday night.