A bit of housekeeping first - the Boston Bruins scored two third period goals to come back and defeat the Florida Panthers. Therefore, after 482 man games lost, the Columbus Blue Jackets are officially eliminated from playoff contention this season.
But this team doesn't care! (Cue Jim Mora, "PLAYOFFS?")
The Jackets returned home after knocking off Chicago and St. Louis over the weekend, both on the road, to take finish their regular season series against the New Jersey Devils. The game was largely what you would expect against the Devils, with not a lot of great scoring chances.
After a few decent looks for both teams, Cody Goloubef went off for hooking. The Jackets PK went to work and killed off the penalty. The next few minutes were highlighted by some rather "questionable" officiating calls/non-calls, which would be a theme throughout the entire night.
Late in the period, a scrum ensued after a whistle in front of Corey Schneider. At the bottom of the pile was Jeremy Morin. Somehow, Morin was the only player heading to the box for roughing. Just over a minute into the power play, Sergei Bobrovsky lost his goalie stick and was trying to get set using David Savard's stick. Moments later Mike Cammalleri fired a shot past from the left circle past Bob on his glove side. Assists to Eric Gelinas and Adam Henrique on the power play goal.
The Devils took a 1-0 lead into the break after the Jackets had controlled most of the play for the period. The CBJ had been leading on the shot count until the late power play for New Jersey. With eight seconds left in the period, Patrick Elias was called for tripping - perhaps a bit of a makeup call - and the Jackets took an important power play into the second period.
Very late in the power play, Ryan Johansen worked the half wall to Schneider's right. As he skated toward the goal line, he deftly fired a pass cross-ice to Alexander Wennberg, who had slid down from the point. Wennberg patiently waited a moment and then sent a pass to the front of the net. Nick Foligno was waiting with his stick on the ice and redirected the puck past Schneider as the power play was set to expire. It was Foligno's 27th of the campaign as he puts the icing on his career season.
Less than three minutes, Brandon Dubsinky found himself on a breakaway to the New Jersey net with no one in front of me. As he closed in on Schneider, Dubi took quite a slash to his hand/stick and was not able to generate much on his shot. As a result, he was awarded a penalty shot.
Dubinsky would later say he beat Schneider to the blocker side last time, so he figured he would go with the glove side. He started out skating down that side and stayed short side the whole time. He moved slightly to the center as he approached the slot and then ripped it past the goalie on the glove side for his first career penalty shot goal. Less than five minutes into the frame and the Jackets had a 2-1 lead.
As mentioned earlier, there were two themes throughout this game - 1) not a lot of great scoring chances for either team, and 2) questionable officiating. This continued in the second period, though Marko Dano did draw a roughing call late on Travis Zajac.
The third period saw two penalties called, both on the Devils. The Jackets weren't able to convert on either opportunity. Sergei Bobrovsky got some help earlier in the period from the post and Brandon Dubinsky clearing the puck on the doorstep, but on the late power play chance he saw some odd puck bounces. The Devils had gotten a short-handed chance, but Bob closed the door. Off the rebound, New Jersey had the puck behind the net and it popped out in front of Bob in the crease and inexplicably ended up in the back of the net. The shorthanded goal was credited to Mike Cammalleri and the game was headed to overtime.
The Jackets didn't waste their time to end this one in the extra period. Ryan Johansen entered the zone amidst a line change. He toyed with the defense and ended up circling behind the net from left to right. He found David Savard on the blue line, who sent the puck to Jack Johnson on the left side. Johnson switched to his backhand as he skated horizontally into the slot. He then fired the puck past Schneider for the game-winner. It was Jack Johnson's (#7) 7th goal of the season which pushed the win streak to, you guessed it, 7.
-Bob had some "BOB" saves, especially off rebounds in the first period.
-Jack Johnson showing his offensive skills again. Thought he played well.
-Ryan Johansen has an 8-game point streak (3-8-11 in that stretch).
The Jackets are 10-1-0 in their last 11 games. Really, no one played too poorly tonight. With Calvert and Morin flanking Mark Letestu, Todd Richards rolled all four lines. The wins keep on coming, will it continue on Thursday against the Islanders?