The Jackets and Stars were both coming off victories last night, with fatigue potentially a factor for both squads. The Jackets had a definite edge in the energy department early on, dominating the first period. They were outworking the Stars in every way, with Sergei Bobrovsky shutting the door when tested. Bobrovsky was making his eighth-straight start.
Just 1:14 into the game, the heavy line of Boone Jenner, Ryan Johansen and Nathan Horton combined to shred the Dallas defense, before Jenner fired a shot on-net, squeaking through Dallas starter Dan Ellis. The trio was terrific in the opening period.
1-0 Jackets: Jenner - Johansen, Horton
The Jackets went up by a pair a few minutes later, when after some strong work by Brandon Dubinsky, R.J. Umberger was able to deposit a gift behind Ellis after banging in a loose puck in front of the net. Say what you will about Umberger, but the goal was his 17th of the season and he brings valuable secondary scoring. He's not looked out of place on Dubinsky's wing of late.
2-0 Jackets: Umberger - Dubinsky, Wisniewski
While up a man after an Antoine Roussel slashing penalty, the Jackets made it trips when Artem Anisimov deposited a backhand into the Dallas net. Arty has been absolutely en fuego lately, though late in the second period he seemed to wrench his knee in an awkward collision. He returned for the third period.
3-0 Jackets: Anisimov - Unassisted
The second period was a complete inverse of the opening frame. As good as they were in the first, they were equally inept in the second. Fatigue had to be setting in, as the Jackets could only muster a single shot on-net. Luckily thanks to some strong defensive play and Bob shutting the door, the score remained 3-0 Columbus after forty minutes.
The third period started off on the bad foot for Columbus, with Matt Calvert taking a tripping penalty. With the Stars set up in the Jackets' zone, Ray Whitney (wouldn't it be great to see him back in Columbus for a playoff run?) fired a low shot on Bobrovsky. Bob made the initial save, but the rebound went to Alex Goligoski, who was pinching-in untouched from the point.
3-1 Jackets: Goligoski - Whitney, Benn
Less than two minutes later Trevor Daley cut the lead to one goal for the Stars. The Jackets were on their heels, and the Stars capitalized.
3-2 Jackets: Daley - Gonchar, Cole
Just under four minutes into the third, the teams went four-on four after Umberger and Brendan Dillon received diving and roughing penalties, respectively.
Midway through the final period, the Jackets ramped up their intensity. The catalyst was an up-tempo shift by the fourth line, who night-in and night-out bring intensity, toughness and just a dose of scoring.
The ice was level for most of the latter half of the final frame, but Anisimov scored a huge goal to regain the two-goal lead.
4-2 Jackets: Anisimov - Prout, Gaborik
With Ellis on the bench, the Stars poured it on, with Bob slamming the door shut.
Final Score: 4-2 Jackets
- Artem Anisimov was terrific again tonight.
With Ryan Murray and Fedor Tyutin out with injuries, I thought Cody Goloubef looked solid and poised out there.
- Boone scored a goal, led the team with 5 hits and blocked a shot. A good night for the rookie.
Bottom of the Barrel:
- In what could be his final game as a Blue Jacket, Marian Gaborik was generally ineffective.
- The Jackets' play in the second and most of the third period should have cost them, but their fast start and Bob's play between the pipes allowed them to hang on for the win. We'll chalk it up to the second night of a back-to-back.
The Jackets return to action on Thursday in Chicago.