Fine. I'll say it. Artemi Panarin is the best player in Columbus Blue Jackets playoff history.
With his Blue Jackets tied at three and in overtime against the Washington Capitals, Panarin, who set the Jackets club record for points in a season this year, streaked down the left side into the offensive zone, spun Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov around, and beat Washington goalie Philipp Grubauer high, glove side.
It was beautiful. And the goal, coming 6:02 into overtime, gave the Blue Jackets their first ever lead in a Stanley Cup Playoffs series.
Panarin finished the night with three points, earning assists on a Thomas Vanek goal to start the third period, and getting the primary helper on Seth Jones' tying goal with 4:26 to play. It was vintage Panarin, holding the puck in space allowing Jones to break free in the slot.
Want more? Of course you do. Here's Panarin's winner with Bob McElligott's radio call.
The Jackets and Capitals will return to the Capital One Arena ice Sunday at 7:30 p.m. for Game 2.