Because It's the Nap. Blue Jackets 4, Penguins 3 (2 OT)

Justin K. Aller

So much promise, so much fail. Penguins blow early lead, sleepwalk to overtime loss.

Consider the script flipped. After blowing a two-goal lead in Game 1 and eventually losing by a 4-3 final, the Columbus Blue Jackets erased a two-goal deficit before topping the Penguins early in the second overtime of Game 2, Friday, winning by a 4-3 final.

Matt Calvert scored two goals for the Blue Jackets, including a short-handed marker and the overtime winner, to send Columbus home with their first-ever playoff victory in tow.

The series now shifts to Columbus for Game 3, with the Blue Jackets ostensibly holding home-ice advantage.

SB Nation Blue Jackets vs Penguins coverage

Pittsburgh raced out to an early 3-1 lead, much like the Blue Jackets did on Wednesday. And much like the Blue Jackets did on the Wednesday, the Penguins watched their lead erode, as Columbus won the special teams battle, potting two power play goals in addition to their second shorthanded goal in as many games.

For the Penguins, dumb was the word. Dumb penalties, dumb turnovers and a disturbing lack of the urgency that Columbus displayed in climbing out of the 3-1 hole.

The Penguins seemingly napped their way through the final three-plus frames, as timidness on the puck, chaotic passing and general disarray in the defensive zone doomed the second-seeded Pittsburgh squad.

Early on, the Pens jumped out to a 3-1 lead, and looked like they would run away with things after outshooting Columbus 15-4 in the first frame.

Then, as they say, something happened to it, man.

Despite two goals from Brian Gibbons and Matt Niskanen's second of the postseason, the Pens failed to hold onto their lead, surrendering a shorthanded goal in the second before Columbus tied things up late in the third.

Calvert, Jack Johnson and Ryan Johansen scored for Columbus, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 straight shots from the second period through the second overtime.

While Marc-Andre Fleury played a solid game -- a few of his saves were all that kept the Penguins afloat into extra time -- he had little help on Calvert's game-winner, where four Penguins found themselves out of position around the net as the winning shot was knocked home on a rebound.

The Penguins talked about limiting their mistakes following their escape from Game 1, but it was mistakes that again doomed Dan Bylsma's club.

Officially, the Penguins were credited with 13 giveaways, though that may be softening the blow. The Penguins repeatedly turned the puck over to Columbus' forecheck, which, while simple, has proven to be more effective than the Penguins' all-or-nothing offensive attack.

To be fair, though, any attack, no matter how complicated or simple, is doomed to fail when the proper legwork isn't put in.

The Penguins recorded 15 shots on goal in the first period. They registered just 27 in the three-plus periods to follow, while Columbus registered 12 or more in each frame following the first.

After scoring twice in the game's first five minutes and three times in the first frame, the Penguins failed to get on the board again.

Mostly, they failed to even come close.

"We have to be better," said Sidney Crosby. "That's really, I think, the bottom line. Right on through, whether it's special teams or 5-on-5 we have to be better."

Audio courtesy Ali Doyle & Pittsburgh Penguins. Loss courtesy Hooks Orpik & assigning me the recap.

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