The Penguins eliminating the Blue Jackets in the spring of 2014 always felt like it was more trouble than it should have been. Five of the six games of the series being 4-3 games. Two overtime games. An absolute debacle in goal behind the net in Columbus in Game 4.
Somehow after four games, the series was tied 2-2. Perhaps the struggles the Penguins were having was a little bit of foreshadowing of what was to come.
After splitting home and road games and the series tied 2-2, the Penguins got a win at home to put the upstart Blue Jackets on the ropes before Game 6 at Nationwide Arena.
The Penguins would get the win but not without a little bit of drama.
Two goals from Evgeni Malkin in the first period put the Penguins in the driver seat.
Brandon Sutter gets on the board early in the second before Malkin gets the hat trick to stretch the lead to 4-0 going into third period. Everything’s good, right?
Not so fast.
In less than 5 minutes, a shorthanded goal from Fedor Tyutin, a power play goal from Artem Anisimov, and a game-tying goal from Nick Foligno and the 4-goal lead was very quickly reduced to one goal.
The Penguins managed to hang on for the series win, but those are the kind of games to let a little bit of doubt slip in.
A short time later, the Penguins would be up 3-1 on the Rangers in the second round with a second Conference Finals appearance in their sights before losing three straight games and losing Game 7 at home, in which would be Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero’s final games in charge of the Penguins.