NHL Playoffs: ‘Hawks Even Series, Jackets Comeback Again

Apr 23 2014 Columbus OH USA Columbus Blue Jackets Brandon Dubinsky 17 celebrates a game tying goal with 24 seconds left in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game four of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena Rob Leifheit USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets – CBJ wins 4-3 (OT), Series tied 2-2

Jussi Jokinen took a hooking penalty on Boone Jenner at the 5:58 mark of the first period and Columbus looked to build some momentum with a power play goal. However, a turnover from James Wisniewski led to a 2-on-1 for Pittsburgh and a short-handed goal for Craig Adams.

On their own power play about four minutes later, Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen fired a point shot that was tipped by Chris Kunitz for the 2-0 lead. Not even a minute later, James Neal was the recipient of a set-up from Jokinen to make it 3-0 Pittsburgh just over 11 minutes into the game.

Columbus would start clawing back with a power play goal of their own as a shot by Mark Letestu would go off Jenner and over Marc-Andre Fleury, making it 3-1. The period ended at that score, knowing full well each team has blown a two goal lead so far this series.

The Jackets were granted a 5-on-3 following a high stick and delay of game for Pittsburgh and would make good. Ryan Johansen would convert a cross-ice pass from Brandon Dubinsky that deflected off of Artem Anisimov’s stick to make it 3-2 Columbus.

Heroics would come late for the Blue Jackets as Marc-Andre Fleury mis-played a dump-in with less than 30 seconds on the clock, and the puck would end up on Brandon Dubinsky’s stick out front. Dubinsky would fire the puck into the gaping net to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Columbus would take it in overtime as Nick Foligno would pick up a loose puck in the neutral zone and snap one past Marc-Andre Fleury from just inside the blue line.

Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars – DAL wins 4-2, Series tied 2-2

Word came down at pre-game warm-ups that Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf would not play in Game 4, out with what was described as an “upper-body” injury. Teemu Selanne was a healthy scratch for the game as well.

Anaheim’s Bryan Allen would open the scoring with a slap shot from the point that found its way to the top corner and past a screened Kari Lehtonen. Dallas’ Sergei Gonchar would later turn over the puck in his own zone and Anaheim’s Patrick Maroon would give the Ducks a two-goal lead with fewer than two minutes left in the first period.

The Anaheim lead would be cut in half very early in the second period as Jamie Benn would snap a shot that seemed to fool goalie Frederik Andersen. Benn pushed the puck forward on a neutral zone draw and snapped home the goal as soon as he was able to get possession back.

Dallas would tie the game at the 6:33 mark as Vernon Fiddler would take a savable shot from a sharp angle, but it squeaked through Andersen’s arm and body and bounced over the goal line.

The Stars would take the lead on a snap shot by Cody Eakin that would snap one off the far post to Andersen’s left and in. A couple of minutes later, Alex Goligoski would make it 4-2 Dallas after putting home a nice back hand saucer pass from Fiddler. Andersen would then be pulled in favour of Jonas Hiller.

There were some fisticuffs and rough play over the final half of the third period but Dallas would hang on to win the game.

St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks – CHI wins 3-2, Series tied 2-2

Despite a lot of early pressure from Chicago in the first period, as Ryan Miller turned away 13 shots to leave the score tied at zeroes through 20 minutes.

Chicago would tally a power play goal just under nine minutes into the second period, banging home a rebound off of a Jonathan Toews wrist shot from the low slot. Patrick Kane would extend the lead to 2-0 as Johnny Oduya made a cross-ice pass off a rush that landed on Kane’s stick, and in the back of the net.

Kane would take a delay of game penalty not long after, though. The resulting face-off would lead to Tarasenko snapping a shot past a screened Corey Crawford to cut the Chicago lead in half. It would be just over a minute later that a Max Lapierre shot rang off the post, off of Crawford, and in the net to tie the game with three seconds left on the clock. What was a 0-0 game eight minutes into the second period, and 2-0 Chicago with 90 seconds left, was 2-2 after forty minutes.

The chippy hockey that had been a big part of the games in St. Louis had, to this point, yet to materialize again in this series.

The Blues would take the lead nearly seven and a half minutes into the third period. Tarasenko took a snap shot coming down the right wing (his off-side) that got past Crawford on the glove side. With under four minutes left, though, Bryan Bickell would deflect a point shot past Miller to tie the game 3-3.

The overtime wore on with teams trading chances, but Patrick Kane would snap a shot past Miller, securing the game for Chicago. Kane carried down the left side, delayed, and snapped it short side to give Chicago the 4-3 win.

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Michael Clifford
Michael Clifford was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and is a graduate of the Unviersity of New Brunswick. He writes about fantasy hockey and baseball for XNSports and FantasyTrade411.com. He can be reached on Twitter @SlimCliffy for any fantasy hockey questions. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');