Four things we learned in the NHL: Blue Jackets survive

The Blue Jackets survived the Penguins 5-4 in Game 4 to stay alive in their series, down 3-1.

• Blue Jackets live on
• Lundqvist gets mad
• No overtime required

Columbus had been outplayed, and outclassed through three games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In fact, it was beginning to resemble the Blue Jackets’ first-ever post-season appearance, a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, who like this year’s Penguins, were the defending Cup champions.

But on Tuesday, in front of a home crowd that has too often been kicked in the teeth by its team, Columbus delivered and prolonged its franchise-best season.

At least for one more game, anyway. Here are four things we learned.


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Blue Jackets save their season

The Columbus Blue Jackets are on the board.

Down 3-0 in their first-round series and in danger of being the first team eliminated this spring, John Tortorella’s group delivered their finest performance of the post-season in a 5-4 win.

The Blue Jackets took a two-goal advantage into the second period, and a goal by the young Markus Nutivaara stretched it to three.

Columbus held a 20-6 shot advantage at one point before the Penguins made their charge.

But each time the Penguins threatened to get even, the Blue Jackets had an answer.

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.

A step they didn’t even need overtime to take.


Angry Lundqvist is also Very Good Lundqvist

Look how angry Henrik Lundqvist gets after the Montreal Canadiens scored to tie their Game 4 at 1-1.

The New York Rangers were in a virtual must-win scenario on Tuesday – facing the possibility of falling behind 3-1 with their series headed back to Montreal – and they didn’t exactly lock things down in the first period.

They did shape up from there, and were good enough to leave Madison Square Garden with their series equalled.

Lundqvist didn’t give up another goal after his mini-outburst.

“They had some good chances in the first but after that I thought we locked it down, we played smart,” he said after the 2-1 win.

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Draisaitl, how could you?

The Edmonton Oilers are a very good team, but they’re not especially deep.

Part of Connor McDavid‘s convincing Hart Trophy case this season was the fact that he contributes to an absurd amount of Edmonton’s offence, after all.

So it was especially disheartening to see Leon Draisaitl go rogue and get himself ejected with an unnecessary spear to the groin of Sharks forward Chris Tierney.

Draisaitl was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his stickwork, and has at least put himself at risk of being suspended (he won’t be, but still) for a crucial Game 5 in Edmonton.

The 21-year-old German was the Oilers’ best scorer after McDavid, finishing the season with 77 points, 26 more than Jordan Eberle, the next Oiler on the list.

No OT required

If your co-workers seem a little fresher today than they have in the past week, that might be due to finally getting a reasonable night’s sleep.

Hockey fans have been a bit spoiled this post-season. The games have been close and competitive, often requiring extra time.

But this Tuesday night was not like all the other nights, and for once, all the games on the docket were resolved after 60 minutes.

Canadiens-Rangers was close, the Penguins made it interesting but came up short, and the Oilers served up the biggest dud of the playoffs; getting thrashed in the first blowout of the playoffs.

The Sharks – who hadn’t scored in two games – unleashed on the Oilers, early and often.

More on the ugliest game of the post-season here.


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