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Highlight Recap, Game #50: Camsanity Buries Canadiens

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WHAT A GAME, WHAT A WIN. A Cam Atkinson hat trick and 2 goals from Brandon Saad bury the Montreal Canadiens

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Following a shootout loss in Boston on Saturday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets returned home to Nationwide Arena to take on the Montreal Canadiens. Coach Tortorella was still unable to be with the team as he was still suffering the pains of his broken ribs as a result of a practice collision last Friday. Josh Anderson had returned to the Lake Erie Monsters. Jared Boll and Cody Goloubef were healthy scratches tonight. To the highlights!

FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS

Your CBJ starters: Joonas Korpisalo, Matt Calvert, Gregory Campbell, Rene Bourque, Jack Johnson, Justin Falk

Save! Following a rush up the ice (and a puck that just bounced over Seth Jones’ stick), Max Pacioretty was denied by Korpisalo at 0:50.

Scott Hartnell saw a 3 on 2 broken up on the ensuing faceoff by Alex Galchenyuk.

Montreal carried the play early, putting 4 pucks on net in the first 3 minutes to just one for the Blue Jackets.

CHANCE! Ryan Murray ripped one wide from the slot at 4:30.

CHANCE! Boone Jenner failed to tap home a Brandon Dubinsky pass at 6:00.

SAVE! Following a faceoff, Alex Glachenyuk got a puck from the point on net, but Korpisalo was able to cover it up at 7:00.

Canadiens power play. Rene Bourque went off for tripping Torrey Mitchell at 9:17.

Columbus took another penalty at 10:14, giving Montreal 1:04 of 5-on-3. Fedor Tyutin slashed Brendan Gallagher.

Canadiens goal. With 2 men in the box, Brendan Gallagher put Montreal on the board at 10:39. The puck deflected into the net off of Jack Johnson. Assists to P.K. Subban and Jeff Petry.

Columbus, once again, was victimized early by their complete inability as a club- and it is an entire team issue, save for Alexander Wennberg (who has no penalty minutes this season)- to stay out of the penalty box. It is an ongoing issue that must be addressed by the coaching staff.

As the power play expired, Lars Eller rang a shot off the crossbar, and the Blue Jackets had successfully killed the penalty. Eller skated through the CBJ defense with absolute ease prior to releasing his shot.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL!! Against the run of play, Columbus took the puck into the Montreal zone. Brandon Dubinsky found Cam Atkinson into the net past Mike Condon at 14:40. Assists went to Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner.

CHANCE! Justin Falk had a shot denied by Condon.

Torrey Mitchell was hurt by a shot at 16:00 from the stick of Rene Bouque.

CHANCE! Seth Jones and Rychel could not connect on a pass on a rush at 16:30.

On a 2 on 1, Scott Hartnell’s return pass to Brandon Saad was broken up by Tomas Plekanec at 18:00. One wonders why the Blue Jackets never shoot the puck on odd man rushes.

At the end of one period, Columbus was tied with Montreal 1-1. Montreal outshot Columbus 12-8.

SECOND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS

SAVE! On a 3 on 2, Torrey Mitchell was denied by Korpisalo at 1:30.

FOLIGNO MISSES THE NET! With Condon out of position, Nick Foligno had a golden chance and put the puck just wide at 2:00.

CAMSANITY! Cam Atkinson with his second of the night. After cycling out of the corner, Atkinson buried a backhand short side at 2:53. Assists went to Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner.

Jackets on the power play! Max Pacioretty went off for slashing at 4:45.

CHANCE! Cam Atkinson’s bid for a hat trick was denied at 5:55.

Montreal killed the power play.

Save! Korpisalo denied Montreal’s first shot on goal of the second period at 7:10.

Canadiens goal. P.K. Subban let a shot go from just across center ice at 8:36. It fooled Korpisalo and went in the net. Brendan Gallagher and Andrei Markov drew the assists.

P.K. Subban then went and shoved Brandon Dubinsky on his way back to the bench, and drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The penalty was also at 8:36.

Montreal killed the penalty as Columbus never really threatened Condon.

Per NHL statistics, Subban’s goal was scored from 86 feet away.

Subban’s goal energized Montreal, who carried the next few minutes against Columbus.

Jeff Petry hit the post for Montreal at 13:45.

Through the second half of the second period, Montreal carried the run of play. Montreal was clearly outskating Columbus, maintaining the majority of possession, and Columbus was unable to generate many chances.

At 15:34, Brandon Saad saw a wrist shot saved.

Chance! Rene Bourque’s rebound on a Justin Falk shot was denied at 15:41.

End to end action at the end of the period.

Lars Eller fanned on a shot at 19:13 on an odd man rush after Fedor Tyutin failed to keep the puck in the zone.

Montreal power play. Ryan Murray was penalized for closing his hand on the puck at 19:34.

At the end of the second, Cam Atkinson was tied with Montreal 2-2. Montreal was outshooting Columbus 22-20.

THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS

Montreal started the period with 1:32 of a man advantage.

A 2 on 1 for Columbus shorthanded, but Wennberg’s pass was broken up. Alexander Wennberg might have been better served throwing the puck on net and looking for a rebound.

Columbus killed the penalty.

CHANCE!! Condon denied Brandon Saad at point blank range at 4:15.

Save! Korpisalo denied a Daniel Carr shot at 6:47.

Seth Jones saw a shot denied at 7:00.

KNEEL BEFORE SAAD!! Brandon Saad slotted home a rebound into a wide open net at 9:06. Justin Falk took a shot from the point, and the rebound went right to Saad, who put it home for his team leading 17th of the season. Assists went to Justin Falk and Scott Hartnell.

SAVES!! Korpisalo denied Pacioretty and Plekanec at 9:45!

Boone Jenner blocked a shot and was in some difficulty at 11:21, but remained on the bench.

Montreal really picked up the pace after Saad’s goal, carrying the run of play for the next few minutes.

Bouque was denied on a 2-on-1 at 14:24. Hey, they shot the puck this time.

Stop and start play around the 15:00 mark. Lots of faceoffs, going end to end up and down the ice.

After Galchenyuk threw a puck at Korpisalo from a sharp angle, Justin Falk batted the puck to center ice.

Montreal pulled Mike Condon at 18:33.

KNEEL BEFORE SAAD!!! Brandon Saad with a backhand to ice the game at 18:48. It was a marvelous play from Alexander Wennberg to set him up. Assist to Wennberg.

CAM ATKINSON HAT TRICK!!!! Cam buried his third at 19:36. Assists to Boone Jenner and Brandon Dubinsky.

FINAL: Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Montreal Canadiens 2

THREE STARS

*** Brandon Dubinsky

** Brandon Saad

* Cam Atkinson

QUICK THOUGHTS

Cam Atkinson was a beast tonight all over the ice. He’s really picked up his game since Tortorella arrived. There aren’t enough good things to say about much his game has improved.

This team eventually must learn to stay out of the box. Giving the opponent multiple man advantages, 5-on-3s, and generally leading the league in penalty minutes is not a way to win games.

Brandon Saad had a solid game tonight, and was rewarded with the game winning goal.

That P.K. Subban goal was a thing of beauty. I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.

Justin Falk had a solid night tonight, making a number of defensive plays.

What a finish to the game. What an effort from the guys on the ice. Hats off (pun intended) to Cam Atkinson, Saad, Korpi… this was a team win.

FINAL THOUGHT

I’m a pessimist. I can’t help it. But nights like tonight? Nights like tonight are why I cannot quit this team. I cannot give up my season ticket package, I cannot stay mad, I can't not go. It's special. This team is special, at least to me. They're the ones I want to succeed more than any other I cheer for. On nights like tonight, when everything goes right, when you see the glimpses that make this team so wonderful (and tonight was the best they have looked since the preseason), it’s infectious.

The way this team can play- for each other, unselfish, making the right pass at the right time (and Brandon Dubinsky, man did he ever tonight)- it’s impossible not to love. We talk about the tank, about losing for Auston Matthews (and we still might) but gang, this is the reason I cannot fully buy into the tank. I just can’t. I love nights like this too much. I was cheering in my apartment so loudly, my roommate came into my room multiple times to make sure I was okay, and to laugh about how Columbus was taking it to the Canadiens.

I want this team to succeed. This season has hurt, I can’t deny it. We as fans have felt it. The players and coaches certainly have. But tonight, tonight was a win the team can build on going forward. Here’s to a few more of these before the season is out. 32 games left. Make us proud, boys.

This fan (and many others, I suspect) will still march with you, for the rest of this season and beyond.

UP NEXT

No rest for the weary. The Blue Jackets and Canadiens travel to Montreal to play again tomorrow night in their final game before the All Star break. Faceoff is at 7:00 EST.