ALLEN, SCHWARTZ GUIDE BLUES TO 3-0 SERIES LEAD OVER WILD
Jake Allen made 40 saves and Jaden Schwartz scored the winning goal for the second straight contest as the Blues took a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven playoff series for the first time since the 2001 Conference Semifinals vs. DAL (4-0 W).
Allen has turned aside 114 of 117 shots through three games, allowing one goal in all three victories (0.91 GAA, .974 SV%). Elias notes that he became the first goaltender in Blues history to win the first three games of a playoff series while allowing no more than one goal in each contest. The Blues have not trailed at any point during the series (197:48) and have held the lead for 103:51 of total playing time (52.5%).
GUENTZEL COMPLETES HAT TRICK IN OT AS PENGUINS TAKE 3-0 LEAD
The Blue Jackets tied the game with 4:49 remaining in regulation, but Jake Guentzel completed his hat trick at 13:10 of overtime as the Penguins took a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven playoff series for the first time since the 2009 Conference Finals vs. CAR (4-0 W).
Guentzel became the second rookie in NHL history to record a hat trick in the postseason that included an overtime goal, following Montreal’s Gerry Plamondon in Game 2 of the 1949 Semifinals at DET. The only other Penguins player (at any stage of his career) to accomplish the feat: Ron Francis (Game 4 of 1992 DF vs. NYR). Guentzel became the first rookie in Penguins history to notch a hat trick in the playoffs and fourth rookie in franchise history to score a postseason overtime goal, joining Michel Briere (Game 4 of 1970 QF at OAK), Jaromir Jagr (Game 2 of 1991 DSF vs. NJD) and Conor Sheary (Game 2 of 2016 F vs. SJS). Guentzel, who had 16-17—33 in 40 games during the regular season, registered his second straight winning goal as well as his second consecutive multi-point performance (1-1—2 in Game 2).
The Penguins overcame a 3-1 deficit before securing their victory in overtime. Eight of the 20 games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs have seen the winning team overcome a deficit, including four multi-goal comebacks. Six of the eight series in the First Round have required overtime in at least one game, with road teams holding a 4-3 edge in those contests.
Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson (2-0—2) opened the scoring 11 seconds into the contest to establish a franchise record for fastest goal to begin a playoff game, shattering the mark set by Boone Jenner in Game 3 of the 2014 First Round vs. PIT (1:38) . . . Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (1-2—3) registered his 14th career three-point postseason game and leads the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs in scoring with 2-4—6 (3 GP) . . . Elias notes that Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (19 years, 271 days) became the youngest player in franchise history to score in the playoffs and youngest defenseman on any team to do so since New Jersey’s Adam Larsson (19 years, 170 days) in Game 2 of the 2012 Conference Semifinals at PHI . . . Marc Andre-Fleury (33 SV) earned his 56th career postseason win (all w/ PIT) to tie Tom Barrasso for the most by a goaltender in Penguins history.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release