Folks, I'm not going to lie to you, this one stings. The Columbus Blue Jackets played a perfect game for about 56 minutes. And then they let it all slip away, giving up three goals in 3:34 to force overtime before ultimately succumbing to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 to force a do-or-die Game 5.
Here are three things to take away from the game, as Columbus now finds themselves in a win-or-go-home scenario.
One night after stunning the hockey world with a remarkable three-goal comeback before netting the eventual overtime winner, the Blue Jackets got a taste of their own medicine, giving up three goals in the final five minutes of regulation.
It's almost hard to fathom. The Blue Jackets played a textbook game for 55+ minutes, limiting Toronto's chances, stifling with a forecheck and creating enough to get three goals by Frederik Andersen. And then... they imploded.
Just like in Game 3, it felt that the inevitable would happen - and it did. After a Nick Foligno penalty, Auston Matthews netted the game-winning goal to force a Game 5.
MAYBE LET'S JUST PLAY 5 ON 5?
The bad news: the Blue Jackets gave up three 6-on-5 and one 5-on-4 goals and again failed to convert on any of their three power-play chances.
The good news: The Blue Jackets gave up zero 5-on-5 goals.
Most of hockey is (theoretically) played at 5v5, and the Blue Jackets were clearly the better team in that capacity in Game 4. Of course, it didn't matter. The Blue Jackets knew going into the series that giving the Maple Leafs power play opportunities was a recipe for disaster. In essence, the Maple Leafs scored four power-play goals. And though the Blue Jackets won't publicly admit that their power play is an unmitigated disaster, I will for them. The Blue Jackets are 0/17 on their last 17 power-play opportunities.
SEE YOU ON SUNDAY
There's nothing like Game
7 5 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs Qualifying Round. The Blue Jackets season is on the line. Win and move on. Lose and the season is over.
The Blue Jackets will have a few days to regroup and refocus. Game's 3 and 4 featured massive momentum swings and leave the club with several unanswered questions. Are Zach Werenski and Ryan Murray healthy enough to play? Does John Tortorella come back with Elvis Merzlikins, or does Joonas Korpisalo recapture the net? Can this team bounce back from the most gutting loss of the season? We'll find out.
See you Sunday at 8 (EST).