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Blue Jackets 4, Avalanche 3 - Quick Thoughts


Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

- Right off the opening draw, Altitude Sports gives the Blue Jackets a goal. Much appreciated.

- Remember a few years ago when Columbus used to get scored on in the first few minutes with regularity? Good times. Anyway, former Blue Jacket Jack Skille snapped a shot over Bobrovsky’s shoulder to draw first blood 2:21 into the game. 1-0 Avalanche.

- David Clarkson and Cody McLeod traded punches five minutes in and Clarkson drew an extra two minutes for roughing. Counting his little scuffle with Dion Phaneuf, that makes a two scraps for Clarkson on the year. McLeod leads the NHL in penalty minutes, so not a huge surprise there.

- Jackets killed the penalty. That's neat.

- Boone Jenner struck midway through the first. A puck slipped past the Avs D and Jenner pounced, taking it the rest of the way and firing a shot through Semyon Varlamov’s five-hole. Jenner’s fourth of the year. 1-1.

- Dalton Prout goes to the box for tripping at 11:48. Second power play for Colorado, and second straight without a goal. Strong kill for the CBJ, who held the Avs without a shot until 25 seconds left on the advantage.

- Blue Jackets got their first power play with 4:18 left in the first as Mikhail Grigorenko gets called for hooki—before that sentence ends, Jenner redirects David Savard’s shot to give the Jackets a 2-1 lead with under four minutes to go. Ryan Murray gets an assist on Jenner’s second goal of the game, 2-1 Jackets.

- Bob stopped a 1-on-1 shot late in the first to preserve the CBJ’s lead and the Jackets lead at the first intermission, 2-1.

Second Period

- The Jackets’ lead proved short-lived when Jarome Iginla fired a shot right through Sergei Bobrovsky’s yawning five-hole at 1:43. Prout got down to take away the pass so Bob had to worry about only the shooter, but…2-2.

- Nothing doing for anybody until Cody Goloubef took two for plowing through the Jackets’ net for a delay of game midway through the period. He was heading for it anyway, but kinda pushed it upon the landing. Avs set up camp in the Jackets’ zone…and no goal. Another good kill (two shots) for the visitors.

- Avs nearly scored with 5:22 left but missed an open net.

- Another penalty, this time Fedor Tyutin went for hooking with 4:33 left in the second. Oh, hang on, Jenner heads to the box 16 seconds into it for hol—good lord, Gabriel Landeskog takes an interference penalty literally three seconds later. End result? 4-on-3 for 1:41.

- Nathan MacKinnon finally struck on a cross-ice pass from Iginla. That’s what penalties do and also how Minnesota took its lead in the second period on Thursday. 3-2 Avalanche, and that’s your intermission score.

Third Period

- Gabriel Landeskog went to the box again 1:02 into the third by wrapping his arms around Alexander Wennberg. No goal on the power play, but…

- Tie game! A strong forecheck and pressure deep in the Colorado end resulted in a scramble in front for Ryan Murray, who fired through traffic to pull the CBJ even, 3-3. Just fire the puck at the net and you get rewarded. Classic hockey axiom, right? Hang on, have another one for you in a second.

- Jackets goal! Brandon Dubinsky found the net a little less than three minutes later. Good things happen when you go to the net, evidenced here for Dubi who camped out in front of Varlamov and cashed in on David Savard’s fourth assist (a booming shot from inside the blue line) of the season.

- Bob stoned Skille with eight minutes to go as the Avs forward found room in the low slot only to fire into Bob’s pads. Solid save for the Russian.

- Blake Comeau (remember him?) popped Brandon Saad with a high stick at 15:07. Jackets’ fourth power play of the game.

- No goal and the Avs nearly made the Jackets pay. Ryan Murray swept behind the net and the Avs pressured, resulting in a scramble in front. Bob made the saves he needed to before Comeau went right back to the penalty box for an interference call with 2:33 to go.

- On perhaps one of the worst power plays of the year (and that’s saying something), Ryan Murray tripped Alex Tanguay with 55 seconds left in the game for a short 5-on-4 (with Varlamov gone) and 33 seconds of eventual 6-4 in the final minute. Timeout Colorado.

- Scrambly finish while killing a 6-on-4…and no goal. Huge block from William Karlsson on Iginla. Jackets win, 4-3.

Final Thoughts

- The Columbus Blue Jackets won a game in the 2015-16 season. 1-8-0 is a hell of a lot better than 0-9-0.

- Boone Jenner. Two goals, almost three. The man.

- Good game from Ryan Murray, whose goal and assist gave him his first two-point game since November 25, 2013.

- Might be alone in this, but those Avalanche third jerseys are absolute basura. Of course they’re a marriage of the current duds and the old Rockies jerseys, but…if you can put two very dark colors next to each other so they’re virtually indistinguishable, that’s what you want for clothing viewed from afar.

- Bob played like Bob late in the game. This game felt like Thursday’s game at Minnesota for awhile—effort was there, but sloppy play threatened to doom the team to another loss—except the third period heroics lifted the CBJ up.

- Speaking of the third, how about that? Jackets had a big lead in shots until late in the frame. For all of the late-game woes through the first ninth of the season, it was good to see the team stomp on the throats/gas and get the win.

- Clarkson with 7:51 of ice time. Brandon Dubinsky with 19:16 and David Savard with 24:31 (!). Savard had a great game on the offensive side, notching a pair of assists.

- All of that effort, that grit, that sweat…for this: