Columbus Blue Jackets left winger Matt Calvert scored arguably the biggest goal in franchise history when he netted a shot 1:10 into the second overtime of a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in game two of their best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh Saturday night.
After right winger Cam Atkinson rifled a shot off the pad of Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Calvert corralled the rebound and tried to jam home the game winner. Then, when that did not work, Calvert roofed the puck into the top of the net, which sealed the Blue Jackets' first-ever win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and evened the series at 1-1 heading back to Columbus for game three on Monday night.
"I went to the net," Calvert told Fox Sports Ohio after the win. "It was kind of a broken play, and Atki got a good shot off there. The first one went right on my stick. I didn't even realize and then, I hit his pad.
"Luckily, the rebound came right back to me and I was fortunate enough to put it top shelf. It felt great. I can't really explain that feeling, but this is what the Stanley Cup Playoffs are all about and we're excited about it."
Earlier in the game, the Blue Jackets trailed the Penguins, 3-1, and had only four shots in the first period. However, the momentum began to swing in favor of Columbus when Calvert tallied a short-hander as he snapped a shot past Fleury in the second period.
Calvert took a shovel pass from center Artem Anisimov near the blue line and controlled the puck in the neutral zone as he skated up the near-side boards. Looking as though he would pass the puck to a teammate, Calvert froze Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen and rifled the shot over Fleury's glove-side shoulder for the goal.
"They're a dangerous team and Niskanen has proven a pretty worthy guy on the power play for them," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "Whether they go with their first group with four guys and one defense, we don't change the things that we want to do on our penalty kill.
"There were a couple tweaks we made after the first period that I think helped in the second, third and overtime periods. Those are some little things, but we've done a good job all year. We've actually created a lot of two-on-ones this year, a lot of opportunities on the rush. We've done a good job of putting pressure on teams, and tonight, we were able to convert on a two-on-one."
Calvert's short-handed goal was the Blue Jackets' second in as many games in the series against the Penguins, as center Derek MacKenzie tallied a score on the penalty kill in a game one loss.
"The aggressiveness, that's something we've got to stick to," center Mark Letestu said. "When you get back on your heels against these guys, they're really dangerous and they've shown it this series, getting a lot of power play goals. We've got to stick with it. There will be some bigger kills later on this series I'm sure.
"We've expected this to go six or seven. We're prepared for it. There's going to be ups and downs in the series. Obviously, it was an up tonight. The guys are battling hard, and that's the key. The effort's there, the battle's there. I don't think we're giving up easy offense, but we're getting some key plays from some key guys. It's going to be a fun series. They're a good team. We're a good team. When you battle like this, there's a lot of good moments."