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Quick Thoughts: Blue Jackets 2, Penguins 1 (OT)

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The Blue Jackets used a third-period goal from Ryan Johansen and an OT winner from Cam Atkinson to best the visiting Pens on Friday night.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

- Not even 30 seconds in and the Pens nearly scored. David Perron fired one low that slithered past Sergei Bobrovsky and hit the post before Bob kicked it free nanoseconds before Malkin would’ve cashed in the rebound. Yikes. Look how close this was, a few inches either way and this game could’ve taken a dramatically different turn in the first minute:

- Nationwide sounded LOUD. Can’t remember a time this season when it’s sounded like this. Opening night, Rimer says, but that seems like four hundred years ago.

- Jackets took a power play exactly three minutes when Ian Cole hooked Nick Foligno. Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky created excellent chances on the advantage—Dubi with all day in the high slot—but Marc-Andre Fleury turned all the shots aside (*EDIT AFTER THE GAME: FORESHADOWING). Very, very good power play, though.

- CBJ held a 10-2 shot advantage at the first media timeout just before the seven minute mark.

- Justin Falk went for tripping with 8:12 remaining to give Pittsburgh its first power play. No shots for the Penguins, and great job getting the puck out of the zone by Matt Calvert and Brandon Dubinsky during the kill.

- With only 14.1 seconds left in the period, Evgeni Malkin slashed and gave Columbus its second power play. No shots before the end of the frame, so Jackets had 1:46 of PP time to start the second. No score after one period. @myregularface (a must-follow) captured some nice little parting words for Malkin and the Jackets on the ice:

- 15-7 shot advantage for the home side after the first 20 minutes.

Second Period

- Nothing doing for the Blue Jackets on the period-opening kill. No shots.

- Huge couple of saves from Fleury in the first five minutes to keep this game scoreless. Adam Wennberg found himself with an A-1 change but could not put the puck past the Penguins netminder. The goalies came up big in the first half of the game tonight.

- Malkin headed back to the box for slashing with 13:42 left in the second. No reaction shot this time, but will hazard a guess that he was just as excited. Absolutely nothing on the PP for Columbus, though.

- Each team had its chances throughout the next part of the period...it looked like Cam Atkinson had a great odd-man chance but a whistle stopped the play. Ryan Murray went after Patric Hornqvist for a questionable hit on Matt Calvert and Murray received a two minute minor with 6;59 to go in the period.

- The Jackets actually came up with the best chance of the power play. Gregory Campbell and Calvert went the other way shorthanded, with Campbell throwing the puck in front for Calvert on the doorstop. Fleury stopped the chance, but the Jackets allowed zero shots on the man advantage.

- With 1:20 left, Brandon Dubinsky crossed-checked Sidney Crosby in the head inside the crease for a two-minute minor. Scott Hartnell and Hornqvist went to the box shortly after thanks to an exchange on the ensuing faceoff. @myregularface captured the cross-check...honestly, not ideal, especially for a guy with a widely-publicized history of head injuries. Wonder what we'll hear after the game ends.

- After a scuffle 39 seconds into the PP, Jack Johnson and Malkin each get four minutes for roughing. This feels like a big, nasty, weekend game. Probably because it is. No score on the PP and we’re tied 0-0 through two periods.

Third Period

- No score for the Penguins on their abbreviated power play. Crosby returned to start the period.

- At 6:10 into the third period, Kerby Rychel and Sergei Plotnikov both went to the box, Plotnikov for roughing, Rychel for high-sticking. 4-on-4 hockey for a couple of minutes.

- Nationwide groaned as the CBJ created one of their best chances all night, Dubinsky throwing the puck in front for Johnson….and as the 4-on-4 expired, Ryan Murray headed to the box for hooking. Pittsburgh’s fourth full power play of the night. Shots favored Columbus 28-15 at this point.

- Pittsburgh finally cashed in on the power play. Bob stopped the first shot on Malkin, only to dive and stop Crosby before Malkin banged home the rebound through a crowd of bodies in front with 10:45 to go. 1-0 Penguins.

- So, with the Jackets having to furiously defend their own end in a series of third periods over the last few weeks, would this see the home side mount a siege of the Penguins zone?

- Jackets headed back to the PP on their fourth of the game after Chris Kunitz roughed up Boone Jenner behind the net with 10:18 left. CBJ set up in the Pittsburgh zone, with the puck moving around the point…and no score. Jenner and Foligno jammed the puck looking for a goal in the final 30 seconds of the advantage, but could not convert.

- GOAL! Jackets tie up the game with 8:03 to go in a wacky sequence. Fleury kicked a puck right, then kicked a puck left, only to have Johansen throw it back at the netminder and bounce in for a goal. The Penguins challenged to allege that Scott Hartnell interfered with Fleury, but no way on Earth was that interference. Here’s the play:

- The League posted a blog saying as much. ANYWAY, back and forth hockey with each team firing on night in search of a score. Nothing doing, and as a result...

Overtime

Eric St. John wrote about it earlier this week and he we were, the Jackets’ first 3-on-3 overtime of the season. Cam Atkinson nearly scored when he threw a puck from a 90 degree angle on Fleury’s right, but the goaltender got enough of it.

- GOAL! Overtime winner and the Penguins leaving the ice in dejection has to rank up there in "World’s Best Feelings." Brandon Dubinsky took the puck from the left dot, skated down past Fleury’s glove side, spun it back and passed to Cam back on the left dot for the game-winning one-timer. Incredible play from Brandon Dubinsky 2:42 into the extra period and perfect shot from the Camster. Cam’s sixth goal of the year and that’s game. What a win, 2-1 Jackets.

Quick Thoughts

- Games against Pittsburgh are the closest thing the Jackets have to the playoffs. That’s just a fact. The building was full, the crowd was loud and the post-whistle scuffles echoed the idea that this game meant a lot to both teams. Nationwide brought it and the CBJ faithful spiledl into R-Bar and Bar Louie and Gaswerks to celebrate a hell of a—and deserved—win from the hometown team.

- Brandon Dubinsky has gotten under the Penguins’ skin since he arrived in Columbus. The national media two years ago made a lot from Pittsburgh’s lack of a response/enforcer to answer Dubi in the playoffs, but it appears they have that man in Patric Hornqvist. He drew a couple of Columbus penalties and seemed to pique the ire of all the Blue Jackets. In the end, though, Dubi had the last laugh with that picture-perfect game-ending sequence.

- Bob made 24 saves to allow one measly goal and the guys in front of him tallied 43 shots. You'll win more often than you lose with those numbers and Bob earned his third star. He's been the (relatively quiet?) reason the team has won so often over the last couple of weeks.

- The CBJ battled back from a tie game in the third to beat the Devils and they came from behind tonight, but tonight stood remarkably different from that game. Tortorella ripped into the club after Wednesday, citing the team’s lack of habits and consistency. They showed up tonight, winning battles in the corners and throwing their bodies around. Look at this hit from Ryan Johansen, who later scored the game-tying goal to send the contest into overtime.

- Won’t say too much more as the recap will have coherent thoughts in the morning. Tremendous win for Columbus over a Metro opponent (NOT a rival yet, no matter what Jeff Rimer says) in front of a raucous Friday night crowd. After the way things have gone through the first month and three weeks, that’s enough for right now.