From the get-go, there was a little bit of everything and the Jackets got off to the start they were seeking.
Just seconds into the opening frame, the line of Josh Anderson, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Artemi Panarin stayed hot and started things off with a bang. Anderson took Panarin's pass behind the net and came around Raanta, throwing it at the net, good for the goal and 1-0 lead.
a tough angle tally for 77 pic.twitter.com/uCu2RGGObb— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 10, 2017
turnaround top corns pic.twitter.com/Q4xpw4ns1g— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 10, 2017
After the goal, it was Anthony Duclair and Max Domi with the two-on-one the other way. Jack Johnson had lost the puck and turned it over just outside the blue line but Bobrovsky was there with the right pad save.
Extracurricular activity ensued in the corner as tempers flared when Christian Dvorak's stick tagged Bobrovsky's leg after the play.
This was all just 54 seconds in.
Bobrovsky came up big again at the 4:28 mark as Duclair came in on the rush all alone, and the Russain net-minder poke-checked the puck away from him.
Arizona received the first power play opportunity of the evening with 6:39 left as Scott Harrington sat for interference. Again, Duclair was robbed by Bobrovsky, making the pad save on his left side this time. Moments later, Matt Calvert scooped a loose puck at the Jackets' blue line, coming in on a foot race with the Coyotes defender. Calvert scored the teams' lone short-handed goal a week ago to the night against the Washington Capitals.
For the first period, Columbus was 73 percent from the faceoff.
Josh Anderson G
Artemi Panarin A
Pierre-Luc Dubois A
Inside the first minute, Calvert bumped Antti Raanta to begin the second period, resulting in the Coyotes second power play. But we know how good the penalty kill unit of the Jackets is.
Entering the night, the Jackets featured the best home penalty killing unit (94.7, 36-of-38) and third-best overall (84.9, 62-of-73).
Both teams had chances as either goalie continued to stand tall. Finally, Columbus earned their first power-play of the night but couldn't convert. Both Domi and Calvert interacted with one another quite a bit, but never officially dropped the gloves.
Late in the period, Lukas Sedlak drove to the net as a scramble broke out in front of Raanta, who was on it the whole way. This game kind of reminds you of the pre-Thanksgiving showdown with Mike Smith and the Calgary Flames as both goalies continued to pile up big saves.
Entering the third Columbus wanted to step on the Coyotes' necks. Again, with action inside the first minute, Panarin muscled his way down the ice, fighting off defenders and staying with the puck. He couldn't get the shot off but it was the element of detail on display. Making a play out of nothing, Panarin used his strength and skill to provide the chance at the offensive end.
On the Jackets' second power play, Raanta cut down a Dubois back-handed shot, with just two seconds remaining on the advantage. The unit had three shots on two power plays.
In the third, the key point of the game basically befell Columbus and the second-consecutive double-minor in as many days. Panarin sat with 3:07 left because of a high-sticking, and holding call, on Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
It seems though as if the penalty kill is the better power play, and Anderson just missed on a shot in front of Raanta, taking the feed from Nick Foligno along the boards.
A final cover-up by Bob in the crease with 26 seconds left in the contest would help preserve the shutout and 1-0 victory. Bobrovsky now has a league-leading four shutouts.
After a season-high 40 faceoff wins Friday night, Columbus continued the trend Saturday, winning 32. Brandon Dubinsky led all players with 16. Following the game, Sonny Milano was sent back to Cleveland. Milano played 8:34, taking Cam Atkinson’s spot in the lineup. Atkinson, a healthy scratch, was benched for the third period in New Jersey.
The Jackets did what they had to do over the weekend, and as a result, hold a two-point lead over the Capitals.
The Jackets will do battle with the Edmonton Oilers at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night from Nationwide Arena.