Canes Country’s morning snap shots recapping last night’s action in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
New York Rangers 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (Series tied 2-2)
The New York Rangers were able to put an end to their six-game home playoff losing streak on Tuesday night as they earned a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, evening the series at 2-2.
Rangers winger Jesper Fast opened the scoring about midway through the first period to give New York a 1-0 lead, but he was answered seven minutes later by a goal from the Habs’ Torrey Mitchell. You can bet that each team was pleased to get offensive contributions from the bottom of their lineups.
The tie was broken early in the second period, as Rick Nash finished off a nice play with help from captain Ryan McDonagh.
The Blueshirts spent the remaining 35 minutes of the game staving off sporadic threats from the Canadiens, who were never able to find a stretch of play where they could sustain intense pressure in the Rangers' zone to look for a tying goal. Henrik Lundqvist was sharp when he needed to be, making 23 saves in the win.
The Rangers outshot the Canadiens by a 32-24 margin in what was by far their best all-around effort of the series to this point. They'll look to build on it Thursday night when the series returns to the Bell Centre in Montreal for Game 5. -Kyle Morton
Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 4 (PIT leads 3-1)
Put the brooms away: this series survives another day. The Blue Jackets played like the desperate team they were, and the Penguins didn't until it was too late to alter the outcome, and the Jackets prevailed in a 5-4 win to extend the series to Game 5.
Halfway through the game the Jackets were up 3-0, but by the end of the second period they were holding on to a 3-2 lead and it felt like this game might have the same fate as the others.
But the Penguins were never able to muster their usual pushback and Columbus continued to dictate play. Five different Blue Jackets players scored their first goals of the season, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for just his third career playoff win. For the first time in franchise history, the Blue Jackets won a playoff game in regulation despite Jake Guentzel continuing his scorching hot run and pulling the Penguins to within a goal with 30 seconds left, leading to some anxious moments among the 19,000 at Nationwide Arena.
On the bright side for the Penguins (and fans of former Canes players), Ron Hainsey scored a goal in the playoffs.
RON HAINSEY. SCORED A GOAL. IN THE PLAYOFFS.
Bonus, it wasn't for the opposing team! Really! See for yourself!
The series shifts back to PPG Paints Arena for Game 5 Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. -Jamie Kellner
San Jose Sharks 7, Edmonton Oilers 0 (Series tied 2-2)
Game 4 was just what the doctor ordered for the Sharks as they defeated the Oilers in dominating fashion 7-0. After scoring just three goals on Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot through three games, San Jose put five past him in 33 minutes before he was mercifully pulled for Laurent Brossoit, making his playoff debut and allowing two goals of his own.
The seven goals the Sharks scored were their most this season, including the regular season. Logan Couture and captain Joe Pavelski scored twice for the Sharks, who turned the tables on the Oilers with a shutout of their own after being blanked in back-to-back games themselves.
Things turned ugly late in the second when Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for intent to injure when he was sent off for spearing Chris Tierney in the groin. Draisaitl may hear something from the Department of Player Safety which could limit his participation in Game 5. San Jose scored their sixth goal on the subsequent power play.
Another look at Draisaitl’s spear on Tierney. Woof. pic.twitter.com/gqfxbBcn4U— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 19, 2017
Brent Burns, Joe Thornton, Couture and Patrick Marleau all picked up their first points of the playoffs in the victory. After the Sharks offensive explosion, eyes turn to the Oilers as the team who is lacking offensive punch, having scored just five goals in four games in the series. As the series moves back to Edmonton, whichever team can find the most consistency in their game will go a long way towards moving on to the next round in what should be a heck of a finish. -Kevin LeBlanc