Nick Foligno evens series as playoff version of Marc-Andre Fleury returns

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Every time the Penguins or Blue Jackets took a 3-1 lead in a game, that team ends up on the wrong side of the final outcome. This time Pittsburgh -- especially their goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury -- blew it, allowing Columbus to tie the Eastern Conference series, 2-2.

Well, the Pittsburgh Penguins might have a problem.

Not only are they returning home to Pittsburgh for Game 5 even in their series with Columbus, but it's possible that Marc-Andre Fleury is broken.

After badly misplaying a puck behind his own net and allowing Columbus to tie Game 4 with just seconds remaining in the third period, you had to know that the Blue Jackets were going to come out firing at him in overtime. They did, and Nick Foligno was the one that managed to shoot one through him for the game-winner.


Columbus managed one shot on goal over the last 14 minutes of regulation, and it ended up in the net to tie the game. Then that shot, which should probably stopped 100 times out of 100, wins it in overtime.


This same thing happened last year with Fleury (and the year before, and the year before, and the year before) and resulted in him losing his starting job to Tomas Vokoun late in the first round. It was a move that ended up saving their season and allowed them to move on to the Eastern Conference Final. They may not have that luxury this season. Vokoun hasn't played all year due to a blood clot, and Jeff Zatkoff is completely unproven outside of his up-and-down performance as a backup this season.

It's all just another chapter in a fascinating playoff story written by the Penguins over the past four years. They've played some of the wildest, most unpredictable games of any team in the postseason, and this series might be right at the top. Every game in this series has featured a team owning a 3-1 lead at some point in the game, and every time, that team has gone on to lose the game.

That is the type of stuff that is not supposed to happen in the playoffs.

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