The Columbus Blue Jackets were playing on NBC in primetime on Saturday night, and Artemi Panarin put on a show for the country to watch with a three-point performance. It's only fitting to relive it and take an in-depth look.
Brad Marchand, who's been public enemy number one for Columbus, was penalized for cross-checking at the end of the first period. That opened the door for the Jackets to get right back into the game, and they did just that. Seth Jones set up Panarin perfectly, basically putting the puck on a tee. Panarin fired the puck into the lower-left corner to tie the game 1-1 at the 1:03 mark of the second period.
Columbus found themselves trailing by a goal again later in the period, when Josh Anderson was assessed a double minor for high-sticking at the 7:37 mark. The penalty turned a Jackets power play into a 4-on-4 opportunity.
With less players on the ice, it allowed Panarin a little extra space to showcase his talents. He acted accordingly.
Jones (once again) found Panarin, who was left without much of an angle and just inside the right face-off circle. Panarin corralled the puck and took a good look at Tuukka Rask before ripping a shot into the the top of the net. Game tied, 2-2.
A Helping Hand
Saturday's affair bled into Sunday morning and Jones was able to draw a tripping penalty to give the Jackets a man advantage in double overtime. Panarin was denied by Rask, but teammate Matt Duchene was able to get the rebound and end the game.
Panarin was credited with the primary assist on the game-winning goal to make it a final score of 3-2. The contest lasted 83:42 and Panarin was on the ice for 32:10.
What They had to Say About it
Head coach John Tortorella: "I thought tonight...more people stepped up...and were more consistent in their game" when asked about his stars performing at the respectable levels they're capable of. Panarin, of course, was one of those players who rose to the occasion to help the Jackets tie the series at one apiece heading back to Columbus.
Matt Duchene knows this series has been tight and mentioned Panarin as a player with the ability to take over a game at times as Columbus can now prepare for what's become a best-of-five series against Boston.
“That's a really good hockey team over there,” Duchene said after Saturday's game. “We're so evenly matched I find with the way we both play, and there's not much room out there. There's no one kind of taking over the game. Bread at times tonight for sure… It's such an almost stalemate out there. I'm not surprised it went to overtime in back-to-back games.”
Panarin was a difference maker in Game 2. If he can continue to play like the superstar he is, the Jackets might just find a way to take down the Boston Bruins.