Tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets took the ice on the heels of a lackluster loss to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. In town were the visiting Philadelphia Flyers who in the most recent matchup between the two teams had beaten the Blue Jackets up and down Broad Street to the tune of 6-0 that could have, somehow, been uglier.
The Flyers are contending for the playoffs. The Blue Jackets are contending for a top three pick in the NHL Draft (please, hockey gods, I don’t ask for much). A loss tonight would (mathematically) eliminate the Blue Jackets from playoff contention, though reality eliminated them a long time ago.
Alexander Wennberg returned to the lineup after missing Sunday’s game. Sergei Bobrovsky took over between the pipes. Nick Foligno would miss tonight's game with an illness, and Jared Boll would draw in.
A win tonight against Steve Mason would tie Sergei Bobrovsky for most wins in franchise history at 96 with.... Steve Mason.
To the highlights!
FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Your CBJ starters: Matt Calvert, Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray, Seth Jones, Sergei Bobrovsky
Heavy physical presence from Philadelphia early.
Nice shot from Boone Jenner at 1:15, and Oliver Bjorkstrand just missed the rebound chance. Boone Jenner had a nice forecheck before that shot.
End to end action for the first four minutes, but each team could only generate one shot on net.
Kick save for Bobrovsky against Sean Couturier.
Wrist shot from Seth Jones saved at 6:00. Steve Mason looked shaky early, unable to control shots.
Bjorkstrand saw a shot saved at 8:00. Kid looks like he belongs here. I would expect to see him on the opening day roster next season.
12 shots for Columbus in 10 minutes to only 3 for Philadelphia. The boys came to play tonight, though only one or two could be considered a "genuine scoring chance."
Excellent possession for Columbus early. The line of Brandon Saad, Boone Jenner, and Bjorkstrand is awesome.
Flyers goal. Claude Giroux was able to gather a loose puck and roof it over Bobrovsky as well as the stick of Ryan Murray at 11:42. Credit the Flyers defense for keeping the puck in the zone prior to the goal. Assists to Nick Schultz and Brayden Schenn. There was a breakdown in front of net that allowed Giroux to get in and score.
Jackets power play. Shayne Gostisbehere went off for hooking at 12:05.
I loathe the drop pass on the power play. It’s so bad.
The Flyers killed it, allowing only one shot.
Another power play for Columbus. Michael Raffl went off for holding William Karlsson at 14:47.
The first 61 seconds of that power play were spent passing the puck around the blue line. You cannot make this up. I realize you need lanes to shoot, but man. Shoot the thing.
Boos from the crowd after no shots on the power play, and they were deserved. That was pathetic.
After exiting the box, Raffl had a half chance but was steered wide by Seth Jones.
After one, Philadelphia led Columbus 1-0. Columbus outshot Philadelphia 14-8.
SECOND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
End to end action to open the second period, though neither team generated a chance.
Scrum at 3:26. Radko Gudas and Jared Boll went at it after Boll hit Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in open ice. Boll put his shoulder straight into Bellemare’s chin after the puck had been passed away. It was pretty dirty. He should be suspended for that, without question.
Boll picked up a 5 minute major for interference and a game misconduct for his trouble. COMEPLETELY unnecessary play by Boll- he left his skates and dropped Bellemare with a shot to the head. Inexcusable. Ryan White went off for roughing for Philadelphia. The teams would play 2 minutes of four on four, followed by a 3 minute power play for the Flyers.
No real chances for either team at four on four.
David Savard with a shorthanded chance at 5:45.
The Jackets killed the penalty, so hooray, a highlight.
Cam Atkinson saw a shot saved by Mason. Mason has looked sharp with his glove hand since his early shaky moments.
Brandon Saad saw a shot saved by Mason at 13:00, and Gregory Campbell and Michael Chaput both missed on rebound chances. That was by far Columbus’ best chance of the night.
Boone Jenner had a nice backhand attempt bobbled by Mason. Bjorkstrang just missed the rebound in the crease at 16:30.
Chaput hit Saad in stride and Saad had a nice move to get a shot off but was denied by Mason at 17:30.
After a massive scrum in front of the net, the Flyers had a penalty as Brandon Manning went off at 18:50 for high sticking Alexander Wennberg.
At the end of two periods, the Blue Jackets trailed 1-0. The Jackets outshot the Flyers 32-17 through 40 minutes.
THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
A little more start stop action to start this period.
Interesting tidbit- of the first 32 shots on net, 40% were from the defensemen.
Still, though- most of these shots on net have been pretty routine efforts. Outside of Bjorkstrand missing a rebound and Chaput not getting all of one, it’s been easy pickings for Mason.
Ryan White walked around Fedor Tyutin, completely turning him around, and fired a shot wide at 6:00.
Mason flat out robbed William Karlsson with a pad save after an excellent feed from Alexander Wennberg.
Scoring chances for Columbus count: 2
Flyers power play. Boone Jenner went off at 10:44 for roughing.
Flyers goal. Welp. Ryan White banged in a rebound after a massive mess in front of Bobrovsky at 11:54. Assists went to Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier.
Penalty. Gregory Campbell went off for roughing at 13:46. More gooning it up from a bad hockey team. It’s what we do, like clockwork.
The Jackets killed it.
The Jackets pulled Bobrovsky with 3 minutes to go.
Penalty to Columbus. Ryan Murray went off for slashing at 17:27. I can’t be mad about that one. He was doing all he could to keep the puck in the zone late in the game.
The Blue Jackets pulled Bobrovsky with 90 seconds to go while down a man.
BLUE JACKETS GOAL. Boone Jenner deflected a Seth Jones shot past Steve Mason at 18:56. It was reviewed for a high stick, but it was upheld. Assists to Jones and Saad.
The Jackets had 30 seconds of a 6 on 5.
BLUE JACKETS EQUALIZER. You have to be kidding me. The Jackets, on their 46th shot of the night, equalized the game at 19:51 behind a Cam Atkinson effort. Assists to Seth Jones and David Savard.
BONUS HOCKEY HIGHLIGHTS
Ryan Murray had a chance broken up early.
Jackets power play. Sean Couturier went off for hooking Wennberg at 1:00.
Dubinsky saw his redirection denied at 3:00.
Flyers power play. Seth Jones went off for holding at 3:46.
JESUS BOB. Pad save to deny Gostisbehere.
CBJ: Atkinson denied, Wennberg denied, Dubinsky denied (by the post), Bjorkstrand denied, Jenner scores
Flyers: Cousins denied, Gagner denied (and landed on Bobrovsky and bent his neck way back), Giroux denied, Schenn denied, Couturier denied
Columbus Blue Jackets 3 Philadelphia Flyers 2
*** Boone Jenner
** Steve Mason
* Sergei Bobrovsky
Some nights I feel like I’m watching Slap Shot with the Hanson brothers instead of a hockey game, except I’m not laughing. I cannot support the goon squad act that this team has a tendency to lapse into. It’s possible to be physical without crossing a line, and this team gets close to it sometimes.
Boone Jenner looked exceptionally comfortable at center tonight.
Where’s Brandon Saad’s goal scoring touch gone?
Sure, the shots on goal total was nice, but were any of those chances dangerous? Not really. And we didn’t have anyone crashing the net for rebounds. Shot, save, clearance. All night.
This team equalized and went to overtime tonight. It, in no way, excuses the poor play we saw for 58:56 of this game we saw tonight.
THAT BEING SAID. Credit to this team for not quitting. This was a game the team would’ve mailed in earlier this season. They’d have folded and gone home. And tonight they fought back. Credit to them and to Torts for changing the mindset in the locker room.
What a move by Jenner to score in the shootout.
Excellent job by Bobrovsky in the shootout and overtime to keep the Jackets in it.
What an unreal win.
Columbus takes the ice again Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Faceoff is at 7:00 EST.