THE PITTSBURGH Penguins also have another P-word going for them: patience.
Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jackets last night in Columbus.
Now up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, the Penguins got off to a horrible start, but took charge in the final two periods.
"It's not ideal, especially when it's 2-1 and you fall behind [by two goals] again," said captain Sidney Crosby. "Typically, it's not the way you win hockey games. But it showed a lot of character and a lot of patience."
A two-goal lead has been poison so far in the series. Columbus also blew a 3-1 lead in Game 1, then the Penguins returned the favor Saturday night. In each case the opponent scored the final three goals, the Blue Jackets taking their first playoff victory in double-overtime just 48 hours earlier in Pittsburgh. All three games have ended 4-3.
"Any time a team gets a lead, they find a way to give it up," Sutter said.
Down 2-0 early and then 3-1 in the third, the veteran Penguins scored on three consecutive shots.
Coach Dan Bylsma called a timeout after goals by Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson staked the Blue Jackets to a 2-0 lead 3:18 in before a raucous, overflow crowd of 19,148. The Penguins collected themselves and then collected another comeback win.
"We needed to reset," Bylsma said.
The surge began with less than 2 seconds left in the second period when Brooks Orpik rifled a hard wrister past Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, making it 2-1.
Just over a minute into the third period, the Blue Jackets pushed the lead back to two goals. Brandon Dubinsky, who had two assists, spun and fired a backhander that hit the glove of teammate Cam Atkinson and beat a surprised Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury slammed the door after that.
"I took it one shot at a time, tried to keep within the game," he said. "Just make the next save."
His high-powered offense did the rest. The Penguins found their game, dominating with a 41-20 advantage in shots on goal and controlling the pace.
Paul Martin's shot from the point was redirected by Sutter. Just 1:10 later, Stempniak took a short pass from Kris Letang and waded in from the right wing, beating Bobrovsky.
"A lot of guys here have won and been on long runs," said Stempniak. "They kept their belief. I think everybody just fed off of that. We generated a lot of shots and had a lot of opportunities. It was good to just keep going with it."
Then Jokinen redirected Olli Maatta's shot from the point and it glanced in off Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski 8:06 into the third, thoroughly deflating a crowd waiting to celebrate an historic win.
"We played well," Maatta said. "At the end, it was a couple of bounces."
Columbus' last best chance came with 30 seconds left when Fleury made a blocker save on Ryan Johansen's hard shot.
"They've got a good team over there," said Dubinsky, who had two assists for the Blue Jackets, matching Martin and Beau Bennett of the Penguins. "We just have to find a way to rebound."
* At St. Paul, Minn., Mikael Granlund's diving swing at his own rebound 5:08 into overtime gave the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 win over Semyon Varlamov and the Colorado Avalanche. The Wild pulled within 2-1 in the series.
Varlamov stopped 45 of 46 shots, a franchise playoff record number of shots on goal for the Wild.
Granlund cut toward the net for a wrist shot, and as he was falling forward took a stab at the puck to finally put one past Varlamov.
* At Chicago, Corey Crawford made 34 saves in his third career postseason shutout, and the Blackhawks got back into their playoff series with the St. Louis Blues with a 2-0 victory in Game 3.