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Game #72 Recap: Western Canada Sweep

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For the first time in franchise history, the Blue Jackets swept their western Canadian road trip.

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets traveled to Calgary without rookie center Alexander Wennberg because of a potential hand infection.  He was not cleared to travel, but Boone Jenner and Jeremy Morin were welcomed back to the lineup after being activated off IR on Friday.  Ryan Murray did not play again on the blue line, as he's developed Klesla-itis dealing with a lower-body injury.

It didn't take long for the scoring to get started in the first period.  Just four minutes into the game, Jared Boll went to the box for high-sticking.  Thirteen seconds into the ensuing power play, Sean Monahan scored off a nice feed from Jiri Hudler.  It was Monahan's 29th goal of the season.  It was a familiar theme for the CBJ PK, a unit that had given up 15 power-play goals in the previous ten games coming into this one.  They would shut it down the rest of the game, though.

The Blue Jackets responded several minutes later to tie the game at one.  Rene Bourque raced to the front of the net and redirected a beautiful pass from Ryan Johansen.  Bourque has shown some goal-scoring ability since joining the Jackets at the trade deadline and he would have a good day in that department against one of his former teams.

Columbus once again yielded an early-period goal in the second.  Sergei Bobrovsky mishandled the puck to the side of his net.  From there, Sean Monahan was able to gather it and feed Jiri Hudler who deposited it into the back of the net.  It was Hudler's 26th of the season.

The rest of the second period was pretty chippy.  Corey Tropp dropped the gloves with Michael Ferland.  At the 18:03 mark Scott Hartnell, Nick Foligno, T.J. Brodie, and Dennis Wideman all went to the box with roughing minors.  The home team went into the break with a 2-1 lead.

The third got started with an early goal, only this time it was Columbus who got on the bored.  Artem Anisimov was hounding a Calgary defender who was retreating on the left side of the defensive zone.  He reversed to try to flip the zone with a bank pass behind Karri Ramo.  The puck hit the boards and then settled in the side of the net.  Anisimov picked up the puck, skated out in front of Ramo uncontested, and then spun and flipped a backhanded shot to the short corner.  He tied the game at two just 4:21 into the 3rd period.

The rest of the period served as a parade of penalties for the Jackets.  At 5:08 Tyutin went off for hooking Gaudreau, but Johnny Hockey also went off for embellishment.  During the 4-on-4, Anisimov nearly notched his second goal of the game after redirecting a Mark Letestu pass on the rush just wide.

The 4-on-4 wasn't quite done when Cam Atkinson went to the box for high-sticking.  Just after that penalty was done, Cam went back to the sin bin after interfering with an official.  Later in the period, Bourque was called for high-sticking as well, but Bob and the PK answered every Calgary chance on the power plays.  Regulation would not be enough to decide this one.

The hero in overtime would be none other than former Calgary Flame Rene Bourque.  After a Kevin Connauton shot, Bourque gathered the rebound on the doorstep and fired it past Ramo.  The 3-2 overtime win completed the first western Canada road trip sweep in franchise history.

Notes:

-Ryan Johansen went an absurd 23 of 30 in faceoffs in addition to his assist.

-Rene Bourque now has four goals in a CBJ sweater.

-Too many penalties again, but the PK stepped up after allowing that first goal.

-An all-too familiar formula of getting heavily outshot but still scratching out a win.

-Really, only Ottawa is hotter in the league at the moment.  Too many more wins and the team may drop a slot or two in the upcoming draft.

The Blue Jackets return to action at home against Anaheim on Tuesday.