Playing in a rare afternoon matinee in Brooklyn, the Jackets held off a late push by the Islanders to win 3-2 in overtime.
There were a handful of lineup-related changes prior to this game: Joonas Korpisalo was given the start for Columbus, while Thomas Greiss manned the cage on the other end. Markus Nutivaara was given the night off in favor of Scott Harrington, and the lines were given the blender treatment.
Put me down as a fan of the new lines. Nick Foligno skating with Alexander Wennberg and Oliver Bjorkstrand remained together, but Josh Anderson found himself on the right side of Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner. Cam Atkinson joined Brandon Saad and Sam Gagner on a line that is overflowing with skill, while Scott Hartnell, William Karlsson and Matt Calvert form a rugged energy line.
Neither team was able to get traction in the first period, though the Dubinsky line had its chances. The trio looked excellent together at times, banging bodies and putting pucks on net.
It was the Islanders though that would open the scoring. With 5:42 left in the opening period, Jason Chimera skated into the Jackets’ zone, and after circling the net he passed the puck back to Travis Hamonic for the one-time shot through traffic and behind Korpisalo.
1-0 Islanders: Travis Hamonic (Jason Chimera, Anthony Beauvillier)
Shortly after the second period began, the Jackets found their offensive mojo. Wennberg fired a shot off of Greiss and then the crossbar, and this was followed up seconds later with Bjorkstrand pouncing on a turnover and snapping a shot over Greiss to tie the game.
1-1: Oliver Bjorkstrand (Unassisted)
Around the four minute mark, CBJ fans held their breath as Wennberg was cross-checked awkwardly into the boards by Ryan Strome. The hit did not look good, and Wennberg made his way slowly to the bench in obvious discomfort. There was no penalty for the hit, though the refs decided to hand out matching roughing calls to Foligno and Scott Mayfield, who had exchanged opinions on the Wennberg hit. Luckily for Wennberg and the Jackets, he wouldn’t miss a shift.
Anderson was already having a hell of a game before putting his team up by a goal. Zach Werenski wired a beauty pass up ice to Nick Foligno, who took the puck to the net, sending a backhand pass to Anderson as he went to the net. Anderson made no mistake.
2-1 Jackets: Josh Anderson (Nick Foligno, Zach Werenski)
Late in the period, Dubinsky was checked while in a somewhat vulnerable position by Andrew Ladd, resulting in Dubinsky tracking down Ladd for a scrap. In doing so, Dubinsky slashed Ladd’s stick before the two duked it out. Dubinsky would get the additional slashing minor, despite the fact it was unrelated to the play and should have been considered a component of the major fighting infraction.
The Jackets kept Greiss busy until midway through the period, when the Isles managed to turn the tide in their favour. John Tavares tied the game with a long shot from the point through a mess of bodies.
2-2: John Tavares (Dennis Seidenberg, Scott Mayfield)
The Jackets had plenty of chances to regain the lead after that, with an unsuccessful Atkinson breakaway, a close call on a Dubinsky wrap-around and a whack-a-puck in front of Greiss during a scrum.
Time for free hockey.
Tortorella started the extra frame with the trio of Wennberg, Saad and Jones, with Wennberg coming close to ending it while left alone out front with the puck. As the teams changed up their lines, Atkinson and Dubinsky went to work, with Dubi showing great patience around the net, before circling down low and finding Cam out front with a pass. Cam’s shot found the back of the net.
3-2 Jackets: Cam Atkinson (Brandon Dubinsky, Zach Werenski)
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Jackets in OT
For the time being, the Jackets are tied for tops in the league, and will be back in action tomorrow afternoon for another matinee in New Jersey.