The Jackets proved they knew how to score goals, but couldn’t ultimately prevent the response from the defending Stanley Cup Champions. They fell by a score of 5-4 in overtime.
The Penguins hold a 3-0 series lead going into Game Four Tuesday.
Getting the first goal was a priority for the Jackets going into tonight, and they did it. Playing without a suspended Matt Calvert, 11 seconds into the game, the team carried the puck into the zone, and Brandon Dubinsky took the first shot of the game. It rebounded off Marc-Andre Fleury and straight to Cam Atkinson who buried for the 1-0 Jackets lead.
Atkinson wasn’t done. The Penguins evened the score 1-1 before Atkinson took the puck from Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh’s zone and immediately fired off his backhand for his second of the night to regain the Jackets lead.
Less than a minute later, the Jackets got a power play opportunity, and Zach Werenski, with the first attempt during the man advantage, fired a shot from just above the left circle that lasered into the top right corner. It took a second for the officials to call the goal because the puck nestled on top of the in-net camera, but upon review, the Jackets extended their lead 3-1.
In the second, the Penguins surged. They scored two unanswered goals to tie the game 3-3. The second came eight seconds after Werenski took a Phil Kessel shot to the face that dropped him to the ice while play continued up to the score. Werenski left the game through the balance of the middle period.
“I’m not sure if we had any possession or not, but it’s (the officials’) call,” John Tortorella said. “I’ve seen it called both ways. I don’t think we got puck possession but I’ve seen it on plays like that, the refs blow it dead. They decided not to.”
The third period was played at breakneck speed. Werenski returned to the game with a full cage attached to his mask, and with just over eight minutes left to play, the Penguins earned a power play goal. But the Jackets wouldn’t stop. 2:23 later, Jack Johnson fired a shot that Fleury couldn’t control. The kick save went directly to Brandon Dubinsky who notched the tying goal.
The score forced overtime, and the two teams matched each other shot for shot, but Pittsburgh held the advantage in possession overall. Jake Guentzel notched his third goal of the night to win the game for the Penguins.
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