The Blue Jackets played the Blackhawks hard, but a few little miscues and two very costly mistakes saw them fail to pick up win #50 for the second night in a row, and unlike yesterday’s contest there will be no loser point to cushion the blow.
A penalty to Brandon Dubinsky in the opening minute and a bit of puck watching on everyone’s part (including Sergei Bobrovsky) gave Artemi Panarin nothing but net to shoot on to open the scoring less than ten seconds into the power play.
The Jackets evened the score thanks to Nick Foligno crashing the net and putting one past Corey Crawford, but on the following shift Marian Hossa got loose and absolutely smoked Bob to give Chicago the lead back. The Hawks would milk that advantage through the bulk of the game, and though the Jackets did have some power play opportunities of their own, they couldn’t find an equalizer, though they were getting some decent rubber in Crawford’s face.
With the net empty and a last ditch attempt to tie things up, a bobbled puck lead to Patrick Kane and Panarin getting past the defense, and Kane was generous enough to pass off to Panarin, letting him collect his second of the night into the open cage to shut the door.
Pittsburgh won tonight. The Rangers got a loser point. The Captials...may just lose.
Nothing is out of reach right now, but the game against Washington on Sunday just became even more important.
They did a lot of things right tonight.
If they can do the same against the Caps, perhaps we can hope for a different outcome.