The Penguins now lead 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, which returns to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday night.
With the Penguins up 4-3 things felt bleak, but Brandon Dubinsky gave the Jackets life. That still wasn't enough to slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, who dealt the Blue Jackets a third straight playoff loss and put them on the brink of elimination.
Patric Hornqvist, Ron Hainsey, Tom Kuhnhackl and Jake Guentzel scored goals for the Penguins.
The Rangers managed just 21 shots on goal in Game 3 and had 21 giveaways, including 10 in the first period.
A win in the series against the Penguins would be great, but ultimately a series loss is a series loss.
After racing out to a 3-0 lead in round one - scoring three, four, and five goals respectively - it certainly doesn't appear that the Penguins are missing anybody up front. He grabbed a chip pass from Karlsson, circled in from the right and beat Fleury between the pads.
But back came the Penguins. The Penguins later scored to tie the game up at 3-3, leading to some controversy over whether play should have stopped. With the other series in the East being neck and neck, and the Penguins eventual second-round opponent playing an unexpected two consecutive OT games to start the series, the Penguins have a great opportunity to help their own cause by disposing of the Blue Jackets in short order.
"I'm not sure if we got any possession or not", Blue Jackets Coach John Tortorella said after the game when asked whether he thought that play should have been whistled dead after Werenski blocked Phil Kessel's shot with his face. Blood smeared on the ice as he skated to the bench. Shoot, the Columbus Blue Jackets were right there on the ice and they missed it.
In a season stacked with rookie phenoms, Werenski stands as one of the most deserving of a Calder Trophy nomination. Veteran D Kyle Quincey, a midseason pickup in a trade with the New Jersey Devils, took Werenski's place. Add in the players like Sheary, Guentzel, and Bryan Rust alongside them and you've got a winning combination.
If they advance, their projected second-round opponent, the Washington Capitals, are getting everything they can handle from the Toronto Maple Leafs, splitting overtime games at home in a series that resumes tonight north of the border. D Markus Nutivaara made his playoff debut for the Blue Jackets, replacing D Scott Harrington. Despite missing key defensemen and losing a chunk of the bottom-six offensive production that made them so hard to play against last season, Pittsburgh is one game away from a sweep. D Scott Harrington was a scratch.