PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins have found themselves in a series of twists and turns with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Last night in Game 4, the series got completely turned on its head with some last-minute heroics by the Blue Jackets.
Watch Dan Bylsma’s Full News Conference Here:
With the Penguins clinging to a 3-2 lead, Marc-Andre Fleury came out of the net to stop a puck that had been fired around the boards. Unfortunately, the puck bounced over Fleury’s stick and Brandon Dubinsky deposited into the gaping net to tie the game with about 22 seconds left.
“Typically, the rule of thumb is if the puck’s on the glass, you stay in the net, puck’s on the dasher you have a truer read on the play. Given the time of the game, the puck gets rimmed in, the play is to stay in the net and to not go out and attempt a play on the puck,” Head Coach Dan Bylsma said. “Marc knows he should have stayed in the net.”
In overtime, Nick Foligno’s wrist shot beat Fleury from distance and tied the series 2-2.
Today, Bylsma called out some of his players as the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 5.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have yet to light the lamp in this series. While they have found the score sheet with four assists each, more is certainly expected and needed from two of the best players in the game.
“They’re our best players. We need more from our whole team. We need more from them,” Bylsma said.
One part of the Penguins’ problems has come from not being able to put a full 60-minute game together. They’ve been able to dictate play at times in the series and have put Columbus on the ropes.
Last night, the Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 lead and took their foot off the gas pedal.
“I think the work and compete and the battle level has probably been the most troubling thing from our team,” Bylsma said. “It’s got to be raised back up to a level that is necessary this time of year in this type of hockey and playoff hockey.”
While Fleury is on the hook for some of the blame in their Game 4 loss, Bylsma praised his goaltender for his overall play in the game.
“He was our best player in the game last night and unfortunately, a mistake with the bouncing puck behind the net cost us in the last 30 seconds of the game. But, he was our best player in the game. He has to rebound now from that as does our team,” Bylsma said.
Game 5 will be played Saturday night at CONSOL Energy Center at 7 p.m.
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