Penguins eliminate Blue Jackets

It shut down all momentum the Columbus Blue Jackets had built and effectively ended the game and series. But there is a sense of optimism surrounding the franchise.

The Pittsburgh Penguins look to wrap up their first round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets when the two sides meet up in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Breathing is essential for a team that hasn't made it past the second round in the past decade with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and is facing major roster changes this summer no matter the result. Had it not been for some terrible luck, an injury to rookie sensation Zach Werenski and star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky going cold at the worst possible time, they might have upset them. While the Penguins have won a pair of Cups during the two-time MVP's tenure, they are just 15-13 in games in which they can eliminate the opponent. Even more incredibly, Weresnki later returned to the game.

Now, the Blackhawks and their fans can say the same about the seven times they heard Tim McGraw's "I Like It, I Love It" in the past week. "Now we'll figure out how to go about our business and try to manage the series here".

Not going to chalk it all up to score effects explaining why the Pens gave up 38.8 shots per game, but I don't think it's the end of the world.

He wasn't able to start the playoff opener last year - that fell to Jeff Zatkoff, their No. 3 because Fleury was also out - and this year, when it appeared all systems were go for the start of their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Murray got injured in warmup of the opening game. 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. Losing in five games, just doesn't do the season justice.

Gobert became the first player in Jazz history to record 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocks in a single season.

About a minute later, Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov misplayed the puck along the boards and Fast grabbed the loose puck and slid it through Price's legs for an unassisted goal at 11:39 to open the scoring.

Although he suddenly turned leaky in the playoff series, Bobrovsky was the Blue Jackets' undisputed MVP. Bobrovsky for the series had an.882 save percentage, a far cry from his.931 he had in the regular season. He is a favorite to win his second Vezina Trophy.

"We've played good hockey, and it's unfortunate we've put ourselves in this situation", Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said Monday. "He has had a tremendous year". Morgan Rielly said the Maple Leafs have earned the right to feel confident, and players don't believe they're all even in this series because of luck.

The series returns to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday night.

The one-game-at-a-time theme might be a bit trite, but it's something the Blue Jackets have embraced repeatedly. This season, the Blue Jackets were that team.

"We just played one of the top teams in the League in the first round". Pittsburgh also boasts arguably the best trio in hockey with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, which could be the biggest challenge Columbus faces in their fight to stay alive.

Torts may be around awhile. "It's on me to get him a little more ice time, no question".