Riding high on the news that they'd acquired approximately half the free agent market today, the Playoff bound Panthers were looking to build momentum on their way to the trade deadline, while the Jackets had to wonder how many of them would still be wearing the Union Blue on Monday night.
With Jack Johnson placed on the IR, Michael Paliotta got a shot with the big club, but otherwise the Columbus lineup was identical to Thursday's slate.
Unfortunately, results were not quite as exciting in the first period this time around.
Blue Jackets Starters:
Jenner - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Murray - Jones
The Panthers came out flying, allowing just one shot on net in the first period, while Korpisalo was peppered with 13 shots, including the lone goal of the period, with Jaromir Jagr putting a beautiful pass through Michael Paliotta's legs to the open side of the net, where Aleksander Barkov was waiting.
Panthers Goal - BARKOV (19) from Jagr & Jokinen @ 11:59
Seriously, look at this pass, and think about the fact that Jagr is probably old enough to be your Dad.
The Jackets tightened their game up a bit after that goal, and saw William Karlsson go juuuust wide on a decent scoring chance right before the end of the first period, but there wasn't much else going on for the home team.
Things looked like they weren't going to get off to a much better start when Florida appeared to score early in the second period, but head coach John Tortorella challenged the goal, arguing that Florida's Nick Bjugstad was offside, and after video review the goal was called back!
Does glass being broken count as a "highlight"? Regardless, a pane was damaged near one of the ice level camera openings, so the game was stopped temporarily while that was repaired, and then this happened once play resumed.
FIGHT! Dalton Prout did pugilism with Erik Gudbranson @ 8:20. The Jackets were assessed an additional roughing minor on the exchange, served by Hartnell.
Unfortunately, though the Jackets were starting to put more rubber on Roberto Luongo, the Panthers would open the lead to 2-0 "for reals" off a knuckleball from Vinne Trocheck that beat Korpisalo through the five hole.
Panthers Goal - TROCHEK (19) From Petrovic & Wilson @ 10:28
Hopefully nobody was headed for the exits after that, because you missed Scott Hartnell completely faking out Luongo as the Trochek goal was being announced, protecting the puck as he slid across the slot until Bobby Lu had come about 3 feet out of the net, leaving him with nothing but net to shoot at.
JACKETS GOAL! HARTNELL (20) From Wennberg @ 11:04
In an odd fit of synchronicity, news began to break via twitter that Hartnell could be on his way to the Predators via a trade following the game. If this was his last game in Columbus, he at least gave us a pretty decent show.
Things looked to be going in the right direction when Boone Jenner drew a penalty on Shawn Thorton on the next shift, but Scott Hartnell would do Hartnell things, getting called for a slash just 13 seconds into the man advantage, and then taking an additional boarding minor on his next shift after he left the box.
The Jackets survived both penalty kills, and managed to put a little more rubber down on Luongo, but still trailed as the second period came to a close.
This time, the period got off to a much better start when Vincent Trochek was called for a trip on Fedor Tyutin @ 1:19 of the period, leading to...well, this:
Oh, you want to see the goal, too?
magical pic.twitter.com/0KF5I7Pp2e— NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 27, 2016
JACKETS GOAL! JONES (2) from Dubinsky & Foligno - POWER PLAY GOAL @ 03:07
Because we cannot have Nice Things, Michael Paliotta was called for his second minor of the day, an interference call drawn by former jacket Derek MacKenzie, but the PK was able to stand up and shut down the Florida attack. That penalty would basically mark the end of the night for Paliotta, who spent most of the third period stapled to the bench, leaving the Jackets with just five "D" to finish the game.
The successful kill put some juice in the Jackets' skates, and things got even more exciting just a few minutes later.
JACKETS GOAL! Saad (24) from Hartnell & Wennberg @ 7:21
Saad's goal was a nice job of getting through the defense to clean up the garbage, picking up Hartnell's rebound and snapping it home. The goal marks a career high for Saad, beating his previous best of 23 in the regular season.
Would that the game could have ended there, but no.
Scott Hartnell would put the puck up and off the glass inside of the Jackets' defensive zone at 12:43, and this time the Jackets' PK did not far quite so well.
Panthers Goal: SHAW (5) from Bjugstad & Kulikov (PPG) @ 14:19
To their credit, the Jackets didn't fold. In fact, they nearly closed the gap on the shot clock, and even managed to draw a penalty just before the end of regulation thanks to a bad bounce of the puck after Kulikov attempted to clear the puck out of his own end, but was called for delay of game when the puck went up and out off the glass.
END OF REGULATION: Panthers 3 - Jackets 3
With the Jackets starting on a 4 on 3 power play, Cam Atkinson, Alexander Wennberg, Scott Hartnell, and Seth Jones came over the boards, and appeared to end things with a bang when Cam Atkinson directed a Seth Jones shot past a sprawling Luongo and into the net.
But, unfortunately, the refs had other ideas, waving the goal off immediately for being touched with a high stick.
no dice pic.twitter.com/P2EzJj77X4— Stephanie (@myregularface) February 27, 2016
Things went to video review, but there was no joy after the refs consulted with the War Room, who upheld the call on the ice.
The Jackets had a couple more good chances to salt the game away, the best being a smoking hot blast from Cam that Luongo was able to flash the leather on, but no joy. It was time for the shootout.
1st Round: Atkinson - SAVE / Barkov - MISSED (off the post)
2nd Round: Wennberg - SAVE / Bjugstad - MISSED
JACKETS WIN!!!- 4-3 (SO)
Seriously, great to see the Jackets come back, and if this truly was Hartnell's last game, he gave us pretty much everything. A huge goal, a nice assist, a boneheaded penalty - god, it's like his entire career in microcosm. Seriously, though, Hartsy has done more here than anyone expected, and he deserves a chance to win. For now, though, the trade has yet to be consummated, so he remains a Blue Jacket as of this evening.
Good work, boys. Now on to New York, where the Rangers (and the trade deadline) await.