NHL Playoffs 2017, Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Game 4

Just like in Game 3 when they rallied from a 3-1 deficit, the Penguins began roaring back.

Sergei Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets need their star goaltender to step up in Game 4.

Even a late power play for the Blue Jackets didn't seal things, as Jake Guentzel again brought the Pens within one with under 30 seconds to play.

Pittsburgh then closed within one at 16:24 of the second when Hainsey scored his first goal of the series on a shot from the boards that went between the legs of teammate Bryan Rust and found its way past Bobrovsky.

Fleury was solid in Games 1 and 2, and even though he allowed four past him in Game 3, his save in OT (above) was him literally throwing everything he had at keeping the Penguins alive.

But we should know by now, hockey fans, that goals are ultimately what wins games.

"That's a good team - they can sense the blood in the water", Tortorella said. He suffered a facial fracture after having a puck hit him under his right eye in game three. The Blue Jackets were lucky to get out of the last few minutes of the period without another score from the swarming Penguins. Then, near the end of the game Calvert took out his frustrations by violently cross checking Guentzel in the back, which resulted in his suspension.

In the last two games especially, the Canadiens have done a good job of preventing the Rangers from using the up-tempo style they're best at, clamping down defensively and forcing NY to dump and chase. That alone might explain their approach in Games 1 and 2, when they decided that beating up the Penguins was more important than scoring goals.

Dubinsky put the initial shot on net, and when the puck caromed away from Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, right winger Cam Atkinson jammed home the rebound for the quickest playoff goal in the 17-year history of the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets have a bright future as well with Zach Werenski, 19, Seth Jones, 22, and other emerging talents.

Columbus went up 3-0 at 4:49 of the second when Nutivaara scored off a rebound. After Tuesday's five-goal outing, in fact, the Blue Jackets have piled on nine in their last two after scoring just two goals in the opening pair of series showdowns.

The series is not over but the task at hand just got much more hard.

Zach Werenski will miss the rest of the National Hockey League playoffs after the Colombus Blue Jackets rookie copped a vicious blow under his visor. Alexander Radulov eluded the check of Brady Skjei near the Rangers' bench and passed the puck to Mitchell, who started a 2-on-1 break with Shea Weber and Mitchell scored into an open net with 1:23 remaining. The young legs of the Maple Leafs are giving the slower-footed Capitals defensemen some fits, and I don't expect that to change as the series heads to Toronto tonight (semi-bold prediction: Toronto 4, Washington 3).

  • Julie Sanders