After a less-than-enthusiastic loss on Sunday afternoon, the Blue Jackets took the ice to face Philadelphia Flyers. The Blue Jackets were looking to exact a small measure of revenge for a 6-0 beatdown they took on Broad Street in the last outing between the two teams. Taking points from a desperate Flyers team that is in the thick of a playoff race would be a small consolation for the also-ran Blue Jackets.
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.
FIRST PERIOD- MANY SHOTS, NO CHANCES
In what would be something of a theme for most of the night, the Blue Jackets peppered Steve Mason with a multitude of pucks, but nary a one of them were anything resembling a "dangerous scoring chance." Mason, after giving up a shaky rebound or two early, soon found his groove and made routine glove save after routine glove save to stymie the hometown boys.
Naturally, with Columbus outshooting the Flyers 12-5 through the early part of the game, the Jackets would find themselves trailing on the scoreboard. After a defensive breakdown in front of Sergei Bobrovsky, Claude Giroux was able to sneak in and roof a loose puck over his glove. 1-0 Flyers.
The Jackets would manage to draw a penalty and a power play chance late in the period, but they could not muster anything of note.
SECOND PERIOD- MORE OF THE SAME
Little action and few dangerous chances for either team. The best chance of the entire period came from Michael Chaput, who could not fully connect on a rebound from a Brandon Saad shot.
This period was notable only because Jared Boll laid an extremely controversial hit on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in open ice that drew a 5 minute interference major and a game misconduct for Boll, ending his night 3 minutes into the period.
It was a completely unnecessary play. Boll launched himself into the chin area of Bellemare, flattening the Flyers forward in open ice. Ryan White and Radko Gudas immediately came to Bellemare’s aid, White earning a roughing minor for his trouble.
Hits like that have no place in the game. Boll should be suspended for that.
THIRD PERIOD- FINDING A WAY
After some end to end action to open the third period, including Steve Mason stoning William Karlsson following a slick feed from Alexander Wennberg, the Flyers would double their advantage. After a massive mess in front of Bobrovsky on a power play (thanks to Boone Jenner taking a roughing minor), Ryan White would shovel a loose puck home. 2-0 Flyers, and that appeared to be that.
The Blue Jackets appeared dead in the water, particularly when Ryan Murray took a slashing penalty with 2:30 to go. That was that, until it just….wasn’t. Despite being down a skater, the Blue Jackets pulled Bobrovsky anyway, and they were rewarded for their troubles. With 1:00 to go, Boone Jenner deflected a Seth Jones slap shot past Mason. Life in Columbus.
As Murray’s minor expired, the Blue Jackets would find themselves with 30 seconds of 6 on 5 to tie the game. Lo and behold, they found the equalizer. Cam Atkinson buried the tying goal with 9 seconds to go. Unreal.
OVERTIME AND SHOOTOUT- CLOSING THE DEAL
The Tank, on this night, was dead. At this point, the Jackets might as well go out and win the thing. They had their chances in overtime- Ryan Murray had a shot early, Brandon Dubinsky saw an effort stopped while on a power play. However, the Jackets were unable to seal the game, especially once forced to kill a Seth Jones holding penalty. The most notable highlight was Bobrovsky absolutely robbing Shayne Gostisbehere with his pad.
In the shootout, it would go to the 5th round and sudden death. Only one skater found the back of the net. Boone Jenner, with a nifty move, won it for Columbus.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3 Philadelphia Flyers 2
*** Boone Jenner
** Steve Mason
* Sergei Bobrovsky
I just…. What. What the hell did we watch.
It cannot be overstated how lackluster the Jackets chances were in the first two and a half periods. Very few chances could be considered "dangerous" by even the most homer eyes. Long shots from the edges and no one crashing the net for rebounds is not the way to scoring goals in the NHL. Mason, despite facing a Jackets franchise record 54 shots, made fairly routine saves for most of the night. At the end of the night, only when desperate, did the Jackets crash the net. And that’s when they scored their goals.
The win moved Columbus to what would be the 5th pick in the draft, 2 points ahead of Vancouver and Edmonton (with one more game played than the Canucks).
Credit to the team for not quitting on this night.
Columbus takes the ice again Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Faceoff is at 7:00 EST.