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Quick Thoughts: Blue Jackets 2, Avalanche 1

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With a goal in the first minute and a goal in the penultimate minute, the Blue Jackets take two points by gutting out a home victory over Colorado.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame Thoughts

- Should be an easy one for the CBJ to get up for. Saturday night at home, Bob is back Tuesday so Joonas Korpisalo gets one last big game before handing back the reins and they’re facing a middling Colorado team that’s playing a little better as of late. Fresh face Calvin Pickard in for the Avs.

- Markus Hannikainen (Heineken)  returns in his second NHL game after suffering an injury in his November 28 debut. Sure he’ll be ready to go, but there’s no idea what to expect.

First Period

- Well, that didn’t take long. Ryan Murray skated from the CBJ blue line deep into the Avs corner, throwing the puck for Brandon Dubinsky to slam home just 58 seconds in. Seth Jones picked up an assist for finding Murray. No better way to start. Jackets’ first shot, Dubinsky’s ninth goal of the season. 1-0 Blue Jackets.

- Columbus continued to buzz for the next 10 minutes with virtually no breaks. Avs couldn’t create much and the Blue Jackets generated some near misses and strong chances.

- Media timeouts come at the first non-icing/penalty/goal stoppage under the 14-, 10- and 6-minute marks. First media timeout tonight came with 10:39 to go. End-to-end hockey in Nationwide tonight.

- Brandon Saad sprung a near-breakaway on a great pass, drawing a hooking call on Tyson Barrie for the game’s first power play. Pickard banged his leg against the post and the athletic trainer came out for a look, with Pickard staying in after consultation.

- Fifty-five seconds into the period, Boone Jenner took an interference penalty for a 1:05 of 4-on-4. Cam Atkinson found himself on the good end of a Colorado giveaway to create two quick shots and a scrambly moment for Pickard. The 4-on-4 and the Avs’ 55-second power play expired with little excitement.

- Not much the rest of the way for anyone. Columbus took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room at the first intermission after scraping out five shots to Colorado’s six.

Second Period

- Avs tested Korpisalo several times in the first few minutes to no avail. Saad created another juicy chance by flying past everyone in a white jersey, but Pickard managed to get enough of it to steer the close shot wide.

- Columbus floundered in its own end, throwing pucks at skates and losing possession before Colorado cashed in with 13:58 left in the second. Jarome Iginla threw a puck from the wing for Chris Wagner to tip-in past Korpisalo. Jack Johnson draped over Wagner in vain for a 1-1 game.

- Alex Tanguay high-sticked Seth Jones for a two-minute minor with 12:10 showing on the clock. The Jackets registered one shot (Dubinsky) on the man advantage.

- Boone Jenner headed back to the box for high sticking with 7:12 to go in the second.

- Wow. Cam Atkinson took the puck from a fallen Avalanche player, skated deep into the slot and tried to pass to William Karlsson in the crease. Karlsson fanned on it and knocked the puck in with his skate, immediately prompting the official to wave off the goal. After a lengthy review (perhaps to see if Karlsson got enough with his stick?), Toronto upholds the no-goal call (despite the referee saying "Good goal" and pointing to center ice. Oh well). Probably the right decision:

- Iginla nearly scored with 98 seconds to go in the period, but Korpisalo and the defense steered him enough for the shot to stay out.

- Tied at 1-1 through two periods. Colorado held an 18-12 edge in shots after 40 minutes.

Third Period

- Just 1:35 into the frame, Francois Beauchemin gave the CBJ its third power play after a high-sticking infraction. Alexander Wennberg and Scott Hartnell forced Pickard to make some saves without putting one past the netminder.

- Columbus took a stupid too many men penalty when Scott Hartnell stopped on his way off the ice to chirp the Avs’ bench. Heineken served the minor and Nathan MacKinnon nearly scored, ringing one off the post, and the CBJ held firm for its third kill of the night.

@myregularface caught this interaction between linesmen:

- Jackets came close on a Brandon Saad shot that led to a goalmouth scramble as everyone in attendance held their breath…no goal. Seth Jones threw one on net shortly after to prompt a frozen puck from Pickard. Good finish from Columbus in the closing minutes.

- GOOOOOOOOOOOAL with 1:07 left in the game from Jack Johnson. Wow. After Pickard made an incredible stop on Saad, Johnson took one of his patented no-chance shots from the point, only to see this one bounce of Cody McLeod and in for a 2-1 Columbus lead. Unreal. Cody Goloubef and Brandon Saad on the assist.

- Pickard sat on the bench immediately after the goal for the extra attacker. Nervy last minute with icings and desperate efforts…none of it changing anything as the CBJ take a win for Korpisalo in front of a grateful Nationwide crowd, 2-1.

Quick Thoughts

- It wasn’t always the most entertaining or technically pleasing game, but Columbus scored early and late for the win. Timely goals. Late in the game, Colorado looked ready to take its chances in overtime and the Blue Jackets slammed on the gas in the closing minutes to end things in regulation. Fluky goal? Sure. You don’t score if you don’t shoot, though, and Johnson’s chance paid off big for the CBJ.

- Six different Jackets registered points on the two goals. Jones led all skaters with 25:01 and looks more comfortable with each passing shift. He played big late in the game and tallied three shots, tied for second on the team.

- Huge effort for Joonas Korpisalo, stopping 29 of 30 shots to go 2-0-1 in his last three games. He’s been red hot and will take a backseat upon Bob’s return in a few days. Good to see.

-  Neither team converted on its three power play chances each. Heineken played 6:55 and was a -1. Jackets ended up with 21 shots to the Avs’ 30.

- Next up: Tuesday at home against Washington. That’ll be fun.