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Playoff Roundup: Penguins, Blues put Blue Jackets, Wild on brink of elimination

Jake Guentzel's hat trick lifted the Penguins to a 3-0 series lead against the Blue Jackets, while Blues goalie Jake Allen continues to befuddle the Wild.

Games are hardly ever over after the first 20 minutes, and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets were the latest teams to be reminded of that in Game 3 on Sunday..

Cam Atkinson netted two of Columbus's first-period goals, his second coming after the winger stole the puck in Pittsburgh's defensive zone and drove to the net. There, he got Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to try and poke the puck away, but Fleury failed, and Atkinson buried the chance.

After those first 20 minutes, the visitors from Pittsburgh came alive. Bryan Rust scored two second-period goals, while Jake Guentzel tallied a goal in the third period and then again in overtime to finish off a hat trick and the come-from-behind victory. With the three-goal outburst, Guentzel became the first rookie in Pens history to notch a postseason hat trick, and the ninth since 1987-88.

The Penguins will look to win Game 4 on the road Tuesday and complete its sweep against Columbus.

Full recap | Box score | Highlights

2017 NHL playoff schedule

Here’s a look at the rest of Sunday's playoff action.

Blues 3, Wild 1 | STL leads 3-0

If you haven't been paying attention to St. Louis's first-round matchup against Minnesota, here it is, summed up in four words: Jake Allen is good. How good? Coming into Sunday's game, the St. Louis Blues led the series 2-0, largely because their goalie had stopped 74 of the 76 shots he faced. Sunday, the Blues beat the visiting Minnesota Wild 3-1, thanks to Allen and another 41 saves.

St. Louis will look to finish off its sweep of Minnesota on Wednesday.

Full recap | Box score | Highlights

Canadiens 3, Rangers 1 | MTL leads 2-1

Alexander Radulov's goal Sunday might have been the Montreal Canadiens' last in the road win against the New York Rangers, but it was easily the game’s best. Instead of describing it and ruining the experience, just scroll down and watch it for yourself. You'll thank me later.

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Montreal leads the series 2-1. Game 3 is set for Tuesday.

Full recap | Box score | Highlights

The transformative effect of the Easter Epic between the Capitals and Islanders

Oilers 1, Sharks 0 | EDM leads 2-1

Joe Thornton's return to game action Sunday was cause to celebrate for Sharks fans. Unfortunately for San Jose, though, there wasn't much else to be happy about, as the visiting Oilers beat San Jose 1-0.

The Oilers' lone goal came from Zack Kassian 10:45 into the third period after he intercepted a pass from David Schlemko in San Jose's defensive zone and beat goalie Martin Jones. The goal was Kassian's second of the series and of his playoff career. At the other end of the ice, Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot posted his second consecutive shutout, stopping 23 Sharks shots.

Edmonton looks to extend its series lead in Game 4, scheduled for Tuesday.

Full recap | Box score | Highlights

Highlight of the Night

Alexander Radulov breaks out "The Forsberg" while fending off Kevin Hayes at the same time. This is as sublime a goal as you're gonna get.

The Borg: SI's 2017 Beard Bracket

Three Stars

3. Alexander Radulov (MTL) His third-period goal in Montreal's 3-1 win Sunday was... wow. Simply, wow.

2. Jake Allen (STL) The Blues' netminder continued his dominant postseason play Sunday, stopping 40 of 41 shots in St. Louis's 3-1 win.

1. Jake Guentzel (PIT) Guentzel recorded a hat trick and the game-winner Sunday in Pittsburgh's 5-4 overtime win.