The Columbus Blue Jackets played with fire and it burned them.
After a sloppy start to the game saw the home team spot the Bruins an early 2-0 lead, the Blue Jackets had ample opportunities to win the game but were only able to solve Tuukka Rask on one occasion.
Aside from Rask, the story of the game was the Blue Jackets inability to stay out of the penalty box. The Blue Jackets were shorthanded six times, allowing two powerplay goals. Although Columbus was able to generate several excellent chances on penalty kills, it prevented them from carrying the play for large stretches.
The first period was a wild and dramatic affair. Seconds after a huge open-ice hit on David Pastrnak by Adam Clendening, Pastrnak scored on a one-timer that Sergei Bobrovsky was unable to keep out of the net.
Later in the first, Boone Jenner was impeded on a shorthanded breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot, but he was turned aside by Rask. Seconds later on the same penalty kill, Patrice Bergeron extended the Bruins lead to 2-0.
Less than a minute after that, the Blue Jackets got on the board on a fortunate no-call. A Seth Jones shot was re-directed into the netting, but none of the officials saw it. Oliver Bjorkstrand gathered the loose puck and slid a centering feed that bounced right to Artemi Panarin, who made no mistake in scoring his fifth goal of these playoffs.
The second period picked up right where the first ended, with each team trading fantastic scoring chances. Both teams took two ill-advised penalties, but the two goaltenders were fantastic in keeping the puck out of their respective nets.
Midway through the third period, the Blue Jackets parlayed an unforced error into sustained zone time against. After Zdeno Chara purposefully shot the puck wide, Columbus native Sean Kuraly gathered a loose puck right in front of the crease and beat Bobrovsky to the glove side, re-extending the Bruins lead to two goals.
In the dying minutes of the final period, Bergeron scored his second powerplay goal of the game, giving the Bruins more than enough run support.
The 4-1 score implies that Bobrovsky didn't play well, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Even with the game out of reach, Bobrovsky was sensational and prevented this game from getting truly out of hand.
Markus Nutivaara, Ryan Murray and Adam McQuaid are all still out due to injury. Murray's is an upper-body injury while Nutivaara and McQuaid are both upper body injuries, believed to be concussions. Riley Nash missed game 4 with an unspecified injury.
The Blue Jackets travel to TD Garden to play the Boston Bruins on Saturday, May 4 at 7:15 pm on NBC for Game 5.