Blue Jackets' Werenski out for playoffs with face fracture

Ross Houston
April 18, 2017

We also know only 4 times in 182 tries (2.2 percent) has a team comeback to win a series trailing 3-0 in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh leads the first-round series 3-0.

But, Sunday night as the Penguins fought back from that early deficit against the Blue Jackets to take what is an insurmountable lead, one thing hit me really hard - there is no question about what this organization can become in the form of an offensive presence over the next few seasons.

As the Penguins came from behind to tie the game on Bryan Rust's second goal of the game, Werenski was flat on the ice bleeding profusely from the hit.

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 39 saves while filling in for the injured Matt Murray, and received plenty of help. Joe Morrow could take his place on a blue line that already includes freshly signed rookie Charlie McAvoy playing big minutes.

He is the second rookie in National Hockey League postseason history to complete a hat-trick in overtime, joining Gerry Plamondon of the 1949 Montreal Canadiens. The accomplishment was still sinking in after the win.

It's been nearly two months since the trade deadline, when we didn't know if Fleury would even be a Penguin this postseason. "It's a pretty unique night".

Cam Atkinson scored two first-period goals for the Blue Jackets. Bobrovsky had 42 saves.

With 6:45 remaining in the second, Phil Kessel of the Penguins shot the puck and it landed underneath Werenski's face shield - striking him just beneath his right eye. Werenski returned in the third period with a full facemask and a significant cut and bruise under his right eye. When you see the photo Werenski posted on Twitter postgame, you can understand why.

But the Blue Jackets will get forward Matt Calvert back for Game 4 (7:30 p.m. EDT, CNBC).

Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is congratulated by Sidney Crosby #87 after scoring the game-winning goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. However, the Pens scored twice in the second period and both teams traded goals in the third period to force overtime.

The first came on a Rust tip-in of a shot from inside the blue line by Brian Dumoulin at 5:21.

Guentzel scored Pittsburgh's first goal in the opening period and got another in the third period before beating Bobrovsky for the victor in OT. "We got some unfortunate bounces there a couple times". It's just a formality - convention and procedure for the Penguins to see how many games they will win it in, not if they will win it.

The venue changed, but the larger points stayed the same between the Sharks and Oilers from Game 2 to Game 3 ... shockingly so.

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