Future seems bright for young Blue Jackets after turnaround

Posted April 23, 2017

Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves and Rick Nash scored the deciding goal in the second period as NY defeated Montreal in Game 4 of their first-round series.

NOTES: Blue Jackets LW Nick Foligno missed his first game of the series because of a lower-body injury.

Goaltending was a major factor in this series but not at all in the way it was expected.

Columbus outshot Pittsburgh in their first two playoff games, and the Blue Jackets had chances to win all three. If not for Marc-Andre Fleury, the visitors easily could've come away with a win or two.

Can the Blue Jackets win their first ever playoff game in regulation?

The Penguins now have a few days to rest while they await the victor of the Capitals/Maple Leafs series.

Game 5 is Thursday night in Montreal before the series returns to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. National Hockey League players burn like blast furnaces, each cranked especially high in the playoffs, where the intensity and physical nature of the hard game they play borders on insanity.

Artturi Lehkonen scored and set up a goal by Brendan Gallagher in the first period for Montreal.

After the Rangers ended their six-game playoff losing streak at home with Tuesday's 2-1 win, the series shifts back to the Bell Centre.

The rise of the Blue Jackets this year was almost as surprising as the complete collapse last year when team President John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kealainen thought they had assembled the right parts for a playoff run. After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead on Tuesday, Columbus withstood a fierce rally and held on to force a Game 5, beating the Penguins 5-4 at home. Game 3 was a step in the right direction for the team.

"I think there are a lot of things we can improve on and getter better", he said.

Had the Maple Leafs erased a 4-1 deficit to take command of the series, the pressure would have been squarely on the Presidents' Trophy winners with the checkered playoff past. Not playing catch-up in the second period would help. According to the Penguins PR, Rust has seven goals and one assist in nine career elimination games.

The Penguins are looking to put an end to their first round series. With the Blackhawks out and the second-seeded Wild on the ropes, who's to say that Peter Laviolette won't spring another surprise eleven years after he shocked the world?

Crosby would convert on the power play chance to pull the game out of reach, and Scott Wilson would drive the final nail into the coffin just under a minute later.

NEW YORK - Rick Nash and Jesper Fast scored, Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves and the New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens to even their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

NOTES: Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski is out for the remainder of the playoffs after sustaining facial fractures during Game 3 on Sunday night.

Does Columbus weather the storm? . Once again Phil Kessel was given time and space to work, and once again he opened the scoring with a snipe from the top of the circles after the Pittsburgh power play opened a lane for him. Oskar Klefbom completed the comeback and sent the game into overtime with just under three minutes remaining in the third on a great feed from David Desharnais.