Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
The Vancouver Canucks returned the favor, after losing to the Jackets in extra time last Thursday.
Sergei Bobrovksy was excellent again, but the Jackets couldn't beat Roberto Luongo in the shootout to extend their winning streak to six games. They did however, push their points streak to eight games-tieing a franchise record.
First Period Notes:
- After being named the NHL's First Star of the Week, it was natural that the Jackets gave the start to Sergei Bobrovsky. Vancouver countered with Roberto Luongo.
- The Jackets received a boost in the form of Brandon Dubinsky, who returned to the lineup after missing time with an injury. As his Corsi numbers will tell you, he is a huge influence on the Jackets when he's on the ice. He's due for a nice offensive breakout now that he's healthy.
- I can't say enough about Matt Calvert. He's been one of the Jackets' best players during the streak, and always, always brings it. He was hit hard early in the first, but only missed a couple of shifts. When he returned to the ice, he was back at it again- wreaking havoc near the Vancouver net. Did I mention he's also a terrific penalty killer, helping the Jackets kill off a late Derick Brassard tripping penalty.
- The period itself flew by with very few whistles, but it was no masterpiece. The hockey was sluggish and physical, with a lack of quality scoring chances.
- Luongo was shaken up late in the period when Alexandre Burrows lost an edge untouched in the slot, and slid into him. As Luongo was forced backward, he banged his head off of the crossbar, and took his time getting to his feet, but remained in the game.
- Score after the first: 0-0
Second Period Notes:
- It didn't take long for the Jackets to gain the lead. On the right half-wall, Derick Brassard dropped the puck behind him to Mark Letestu. Letestu skated up the wing, firing a shot on Luongo. Luongo made the initial save, but Letestu fired in the rebound. Letestu has been great for the Jackets this year, and says he wants to stay in Columbus...is he part of the "New Foundation"?
Vinny Prospal earned an assist on Letestu's goal, giving him 750 career points. I truly hope that he stays with the Jackets until his playing days are over and takes a job with the team after. That arrangement was discussed under Scott Howson, and hopefully it remains in place under the new regime.
- The second period had a much slower pace. Again, the great offensive chances were few and far between, but the Canucks started to pour on the shots. Bob was simply fantastic, keeping a sloppy Jackets team in it.
- Late in the period, Ryan Johansen was sent off for boarding. The Canucks applied tremendous pressure, but couldn't put one past Bob. He absolutely stood on his head.
- Seconds after the penalty expired, the Canucks were able to tie it up. A Jason Garrison point shoot beat Bob through traffic. The Jackets were lucky to escape the period with the game tied.
- Score after the second: 1-1.
Third Period Notes:
- The Jackets did not have the jump we've been used to seeing in the first two periods, but they came out flying to start the third. They were the dominant team in the first half of the period, but were unable to put one past Luongo.
- In yet another instance of recklessness and lack of respect, Zack Kassian took aim and boarded Letestu, catching the Jackets' head off of the boards. Luckily Letestu avoided serious injury, but man, these hits have to stop. Kassian was given a boarding penalty, but the Canucks killed it off.
- Vancouver started their push in the latter half of the period. Again, Bob was on the case to prevent the Canucks from taking the lead.
- Things started to get a bit sloppy in the Columbus end, and culminated in Henrik Sedin trying to gouge out Bob's eye. While fighting for the puck in the blue paint, Henrik's stick rode up and in to Bob's mask, catching him in the eye. We all held our collective breath when Bob went down, but after a moment to collect himself he was good to go.
- Bob's doppelganger.
R.J. Umberger had a late chance to seal it, but this sucker went to overtime.
- The Jackets dominated play for most of the overtime period, but they coudn't solve Luongo. Ryan Johansen kicked it up another gear, and refused to lose a faceoff. These are all encouraging signs as we see him slowly start to break out.
Columbus : Ryan Johansen (Save)
Vancouver: Chris Higgins (Save)
Columbus: Matt Calvert (Save)
Vancouver: Mason Raymond (Goal)
Columbus: Mark Letestu (Save)
Final Score: 2-1 Canucks (SO)
1) Sergei Bobrovsky was lights out, again.
2) The Jackets tied their longest points streak. They're 5-0-3 in their last eight games.
3) Congrats to Vinny Prospal on point number 750!
4) Ryan Johansen had a strong game. Great to see.
Bottom of the Barrel:
1) The Jackets have been playing very well, so the fact their powerplay is atrocious has been pushed aside. It is dreadful though.
2) The Pizza song.
The Jackets are back at it on Thursday, when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.