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Pens Points: Jake ‘N Bake

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Guentzel completes historic hat trick in overtime to push the Blue Jackets to the brink. Defense forming a cohesive unit without Letang. Fleury proving he still belongs among goaltending greats. Jarry and DeSmith earn AHL goaltending honor.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing a theme from the first two games of the series, the Blue Jackets bombarded the Penguins in the early going and took their first lead of the series just 11 seconds into Game 3. The Pens struck back quickly but Columbus continued their onslaught and took a 3-1 into the first intermission. Facing a multi-goal deficit in the playoffs for the first time since last season’s Eastern Conference Final the Pens battled back to eventually take the lead in the third period. Columbus tied it to force overtime where Jake Guentzel became the first rookie in Pens’ history to record a playoff hat trick with his winning goal to give the Pens a 3-0 lead in the series. [Pensburgh]

Missing top defenseman Kris Letang for the rest of the season, the healthy members of the Pens defensive corps have formed a cohesive unit that has helped steady the team on the back end. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Along with a cohesive blue line the Pens are preventing high danger scoring chances from the Blue Jackets using the much maligned practice of blocking shots from everyone in the lineup. [Trib Live]

It has only been three short years since the Pens and Blue Jackets first met in the postseason back in 2014 but few faces from that six game first round matchup remain on both sides. [Trib Live]

No one expected Marc-Andre Fleury to be the main man in between the pipes as the Pens began their Stanley Cup defense but through three games “The Flower” has prven he is still a world class goalie. [ESPN]

Taking a page out of the Philadelphia playbook, the Columbus Dispatch had the bright idea to mock Sidney Crosby with a crying head cutout before the teams met in Game 3. After being mocked mercilessly online the newspaper cancelled the idea. [WPXI]

During Game 2 on Friday, the Penguins honored late Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney with a special helmet decal and a special in game tribute on the video board. [KDKA]

In another nod to the incredible depth of goaltending in the Penguins system, AHL regulars Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith won the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for being the goaltending tandem with the least amount of goals conceded for the 2016-2017 season. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Following a nasty injury that looked like it may end his season, Joe Thornton returned to the San Jose Sharks lineup for their Game 3 matchup with the Edmonton Oilers. [Sportsnet]

A new study reveals that former NHL players are more prone to psychiatric disorders than that of the general population. [Huffington Post]