The Pittsburgh Penguins had every advantage to open the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins were facing the Columbus Blue Jackets, had rallied over them in Game 1 and had a quick two-goal lead to start Game 2 on April 19. It truly looked like the Stanley Cup playoffs wouldn't really start for Pittsburgh until the later rounds, yet Columbus welcomed them to the postseason two overtimes later.
The Blue Jackets not only got their first ever playoff win, they stole home-ice advantage from the Penguins with a 4-3 double overtime victory. It took over four minutes for Columbus to fall behind by 2-0 on two Brian Gibbons goals -- but it took over 76 more minutes of playing time for Pittsburgh to realize it was in a real series.
The Blue Jackets started their rally 43 seconds after Gibbons scored his second goal, which came during a Columbus power play. Yet the power play continued long enough for Ryan Johansen to put Columbus on the board. However, Pittsburgh went back ahead by 3-1 on a late first period power play goal of its own from Matt Niskanen.
Fittingly, the Blue Jackets struck back on a shorthanded tally from Matt Calvert. But the Penguins held onto a 3-2 advantage, until they yielded one more power play that Jack Johnson scored on with six minutes to spare. The penalties kept coming in overtime, with the Penguins even getting a power play that stretched into the second overtime.
Not long after the Blue Jackets killed it off, Calvert struck back to end the game with his second goal. Despite not having the lead all night, Columbus got it when it counted -- which was better than blowing a lead like in Game 1.
The Penguins yielded a 3-1 lead to lose Game 2, like the Blue Jackets did in Game 1, although that battle didn't go to overtime. If not for that late collapse, Columbus could have left Pittsburgh with a two-game lead. But for a franchise that hadn't won a single game in the Stanley Cup playoffs before now, one victory and a 1-1 series going back to Ohio was enough.
If that isn't enough for the Blue Jackets in the long run, the Penguins could be in trouble earlier than they expected in these playoffs. Game 3 will provide a clearer sign on April 21 in Columbus.