Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2 minutes 13 seconds of the third period to revive the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead at Columbus, Ohio, in the best-of-seven playoff series thanks to the goals on three consecutive shots.
But then the Penguins found their game, dominating with a 41-20 advantage in shots on goal and controlling the pace to disappoint a raucous overflow crowd of 19,148.
Beau Bennett and Paul Martin each had two assists for the Penguins, as did Brandon Dubinsky for the Blue Jackets, who were trying for their first playoff victory at home. They were 0-5 in the postseason until pulling off a stunning 4-3 double-overtime victory Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
Down 3-1 after Dubinsky’s twirling backhander went in off Atkinson’s glove just over a minute into the final period, the Penguins found another gear.
Martin’s shot from the point was redirected by Sutter and cut the lead to a goal. Stempniak took a short pass from Kris Letang and waded in from the right wing, beating goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who finished with 37 saves, 1:10 later.
Then Jokinen redirected Olli Maatta’s shot from the point and it glanced in off defenseman James Wisniewski.
All three games have ended up 4-3.
Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger scored as the defending Stanley Cup champions bounced back after a pair of overtime losses in St. Louis. Toews’ 21st postseason goal was only the second score by a Blackhawks forward in the series.
Ryan Miller shook off another slow start and finished with 23 saves, but Toews’ shot at 4:10 of the first went through the goaltender’s legs and was costly.
It was quite a turnaround for Crawford, who was upset with his play after Saturday’s 4-3 loss.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 45 of 46 shots, a franchise playoff record for shots on goal by the Wild.
Granlund cut toward the net for a wrist shot, and as he was falling forward took a stab at the puck to finally put one past Varlamov.
Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves, but the Wild goalie in his first career playoff start was just as good as his counterpart.
After the Avalanche line of Nathan MacKinnon, Paul Stastny and Gabe Landeskog combined for 17 points and seven goals over the first two games, the Wild kept them from doing any damage.
The Wild shuffled its lines, with veteran Dany Heatley’s move off the scratch list the most notable change, and played its style. It simply didn’t get enough men to the net for long rebounds Varlamov has a tendency to produce.