The Blue Jackets fought back from a 3-1 third-period deficit but gave up a late goal in 4-3 road loss to the Boston Bruins in a Game 5 loss at TD Garden.
In a game chock-full of mistakes, the Blue Jackets were guilty of playing a bit too loosely in the final minutes, giving up a late goal to David Pastrnak - his second of the game - in a heartbreaking loss.
The Blue Jackets will play with their backs up against the wall in a do-or-die Game 6 on Monday night in Game 6 at Nationwide Arena.
Bruins Top Line Dominates
The Bruins top line of Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand has been one of the best lines in the NHL over the past season. While they struggled to get going in games 1-3, it was foolish to think they would go quietly into defeat.
Pastrnak scored his third goal in his past two games, Marchand scored his first goal of the series and added two assists for good measure, and Bergeron added an assist on Marchand's tally.
It's no coincidence that the Blue Jackets won two of the first three games when the Bruins' stars were quiet on the scoresheet, and lost the previous two games when they were prevalent. If Columbus is unable to slow them down, their season will more than likely come to an end on Monday.
Panarin Turnovers Prove Costly
Listen, obviously Artemi Panarin is an elite player in the NHL. His offense was on full display in setting up Dean Kukan's game-tying goal to settle the score at 3-3 with just over six minutes remaining in regulation.
But his offensive zone turnovers directly contributed to the Bruins first and last goals of the game. At that point in the game, the dynamic winger was obviously trying to create offense. If he makes a brilliant offensive play - as he often does - this is a moot point. But it's not. And if the Blue Jackets could have forced the game to OT, who knows how it would have ended?
John Tortorella was in no mood for idle chit-chat after a frustrating loss, and all but guaranteed a Game 6 win on home ice on Monday night. The Columbus bench boss is notoriously hard on his players during the regular season, but has developed a reputation for being 'with' his players during the playoffs. Need evidence? Seek no further.
It's definitely different coming from a player, but it reminds me of another (now famous) Game 6 guarantee, this one from 25 years ago. The Blue Jackets are 3-1 on home ice in these playoffs entering Monday night's do-or-die Game 6 affair.