It was all there for the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 3. The electric crowd, unprecedented in its fervor for the franchise. The 2-goal lead in the third period. The chance to dangle the sword over the Pittsburgh Penguins' collective head and earn their first Stanley Cup Playoffs series lead in team history.
It took 2 minutes, 13 seconds and three shots on goal to crush all of those dreams.
Here are the goals, some funkier than others.
Deflated probably doesn’t do it justice for Columbus. It’s the second time in this series they’ve blown a 2-goal lead against the Penguins and lost a game. Once more, with feeling: The Columbus Blue Jackets could be preparing for a sweep in Game 4 if it wasn’t for a combination of complacency, miscues and stunningly average play from Sergei Bobrovsky.
A few thoughts:
* Bobrovsky needs to take his lumps for this loss and for the Jackets’ deficit in the series. The goal he gave up to Brooks Orpik at 19:58 of the second period was inexcusable. He’s been a rebound machine this series, and again in Game 3. Flash your glove all you want at the Penguins shooters; just know that their goalie, against all odds, is outplaying you, Bob.
* James Wisniewski deserves a special dunce cap for a slashing penalty on Evgeni Malkin with less than four minutes remaining.
* The Penguins absolutely dominated in puck possession.
Look at that plateau in the third of the CBJ. Ouch.
* Chris Kunitz made the play of the game to set up Lee Stempniak’s game-tying goal: Slipping a little pass to him as he streaked into the zone after drawing two Jackets defenders to him.
* No goals for Crosby or Malkin. Must be a Stanley Cup Playoff game …