VIDEO: Nick Foligno wins Game 4 in OT; time for Pens' Fleury worry?
Nick Foligno completed Columbus' comeback from a 3-0 hole with his winning shot in overtime but just as important is the uncertainty surrounding the return of the playoff version of Marc-Andre Fleury.
It was a shot on the rush but from out near the blue line. The puck had a bit of a dip but it was not a shot that should have troubled Marc-Andre Fleury for the Penguins. It did.
While the Blue Jackets celebrated and things turned into pure bedlam in Columbus, the Penguins could only be left to wonder where they go from here. Fleury's mental state has been a conversation for a few years now as his playoff struggles have been well documented. He began seeing a sports psychologist to help and it had appeared to be working until one ill-fated decision at the end of regulation.
He left his net when he probably shouldn't have and couldn't make a play on the puck so with just 23.2 seconds left, the Blue Jackets tied it and sent the game to OT. Smelling blood, the Jackets were flying to open the extra period and immediately tested Fleury, who looked awfully shaky. Then he was beat by this shot from Foligno.
Uh oh. This was the first time in this series we've really seen the old Playoff Fleury and now every amateur psychologist out there will wonder if he can recover from this. It really did seem that one play in regulation at the end was close to smashing all the work he has done to repair his playoff game and preparation.
Not to get lost in that, though, was how the Blue Jackets came back in this game. It was the fourth time in four games in this series a team overcame a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3. This time Columbus came back from a 3-0 deficit. They were relentless in their attack and it paid off.
Certainly you should give some credit to Foligno in that spot as well. It might not be a situation where every player shoots but he did, perhaps knowing that Fleury was in a shaky state and what do you know, he had a game-winner.
This series has been just crazy so far and now it gets all the more interesting with Fleury all of a sudden a major concern for the Penguins once again.
Washington and Pittsburgh figure to go neck and neck, as do Anaheim and Edmonton
Cassidy went 18-8-1 after replacing Claude Julien in 2016-17
With the playoff field cut in half, the stakes keep getting raised
Green has led Vancouver's AHL affiliate since 2013
Series schedules, results and updates from the second round of the Stanley Cup race
Here's how to stay on top of all of the NHL's second-round playoff series, which begin Wed...