Blue Jackets hold off Penguins, avoid sweep

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 20, 2017

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella told the media Monday morning that the 19-year-old Werenski was done for the playoffs.

The Rangers and Canadiens are knotted at two games apiece after Rick Nash provided the tiebreaking goal in the second period of the Blueshirts' 2-1 win over the Habs in NY.

The Penguins later scored to tie the game up at 3-3, leading to some controversy over whether play should have stopped. "Get our home fans behind us", Sheary said.

The Penguins weren't able to finish off their Metropolitan Division rivals on the road.

Patric Hornqvist, Ron Hainsey and Tom Kuhnhackl also scored for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury - pressed into service because of an injury to Matt Murray at the start of the series - had 29 saves.

I'd like to take a brief moment to say "Thank you" to the 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets. Boone Jenner scored the eventual game victor last night and was everywhere on the ice. "We just got to keep doing it". Obviously scoring big goals but doing a lot of other things during the game — the penalty kill portion of it, the forecheck, the momentum.

"You earn your bounces, and they were better" Penguins star forward Sidney Crosby said. Eventually, they figured, the desperation of the playoffs would bring that, especially against a Penguins team that plays an offensive brand of hockey.

This is just the third playoff appearance by the Blue Jackets in their franchise's modest history, and while they have a long way to go in order to get back in their series, Tuesday was a step in the right direction. In those latter two regards, especially in Game 4, the Penguins got away from that. With their 5-4 win, the CBJ downed the flightless birds for their first playoff win this year.

Jenner gave the Blue Jackets some breathing room again with a tip-in from in front of the goal on a shot from Brandon Saad that made it 5-3.

When Jake Guentzel scored on a shot from the slot with 26.4 seconds to go, it didn't have much of an effect on the outcome of Game 4, which the Penguins lost 5-4.

"That line played really well most of the night against Crosby", Tortorella said postgame.

Game 4: Capitals at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN (Leafs lead 2-1) - One week in, the Maple Leafs have emerged as the best story of the Stanley Cup playoffs, thanks to Auston Matthews and his band of boy wonders.

The Blue Jackets were short on confidence after three straight losses, but jumped on the Penguins early and built a 3-0 lead by the second period. Going into Game 5, the team's focus is getting back to playing well in all facets.

He challenged struggling goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to be the Blue Jackets' "best player", which he wasn't, but the Vezina Trophy candidate's 27-save showing was enough, even if he still surrendered four goals. Hainsey's first goal of the series, at 16:24 of the second, pulled the Pens within one goal, but they couldn't get on level terms going into the final frame.

If the Blue Jackets can drag out the series, it also gives those Penguins who are already dealing with a lump or two less time to recover. And if those don't have time to add up over the course of a series, they certainly do over the course of a post-season.

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