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Dubinsky Returns, Jackets Come up With Point Versus Wild

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Brandon Dubinsky returned after missing 18 games, and the Columbus Blue Jackets, looking to set the tone for the stretch run, hosted the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night.

Minnesota Wild v Columbus Blue Jackets

As the Minnesota Wild and host, Columbus Blue Jackets, look to solidify their current playoff standing for the stretch run, an array of storylines preluded the Tuesday night matchup.

Expansion cousins since their 2000 inception, a personal, brotherly, rival was interjected into the Wild’s lineup over the offseason. Marcus FolignoNick Foligno's younger brother — was acquired from the Sabres. Then Tuesday, extra spice was added when Wild coach Bruce Boudreau expressed his displeasure of Seth Jones being allowed to play after missing the All-Star Game due to an illness. Which Blue Jackets President John Davidson also responded.

But perhaps the main story was the return of Brandon Dubinsky after an 18 game absence, exactly a week following the speculatory “potential career-ending” story that raised eyebrows by The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline. Dubinsky is a welcome addition for a team needing depth at the center position.

The Blue Jackets come in on a three-game win streak versus the Wild, and Sergei Bobrovsky is 8-2-0 in his career against Minnesota.

Boudreau’s team has struggled away from Excel Energy Center and is just 9-14-1 on the road this season. The Jackets won the first meeting back on Oct. 14, 5-4 in overtime, a game which the younger Foligno missed for Minnesota’s home opener.

First Period

Things got off in a hurry, and a brisk start resulted in a goal by David Savard from the blue line. Initially, it appeared as if Dubinsky or Josh Anderson might have tipped it in front of Devan Dubnyk. Nonetheless, the goal was credited to Savard, and the early lead gave the Jackets life and some early juice to work with, just 1:16 into the game. Dean Kukan assisted, picking up his first career point. Artemi Panarin notched his team-leading 28th assist.

It was Savard’s first goal since Oct. 30 against the Bruins.

Later in the first, a Savard goal was nullified after the Wild challenged and the call was overturned due to a kicking motion. Leading up to the goal call on the ice, there was a flurry of white and blue in Dubnyk’s crease before a Panarin shot and subsequent rebound crossed the line by virtue of Savard’s skate.

Both teams failed to convert on their lone power play chances in the first. Entering the night, the Jackets came in with three power-play goals in their last five games. The Wild have scored a power-play goal in their last five consecutive games.

Dubinsky skated six shifts, 5:21, getting back in the play even-strength, a few seconds on the power play, and spending time on the penalty kill. Bobrovsky made his third-straight start in net for Columbus, stopping all 11 shots.

Scoring
Columbus - David Savard G 1:16
Dean Kukan A
Artemi Panarin A

Shots
Minnesota 11 Columbus 6

Second Period

Columbus survived an early period attack as the Wild forecheck pressed on. They nearly found the equalizer when Zach Parise’s shot just missed, going behind Bobrovsky in the goalmouth of the crease. Later in the period, Parise was stifled by Bobrovsky on a breakaway.

Minnesota registered nine of the first 10 second period shots and Jason Zucker tied the game with his team co-lead 20th goal. He came into the night on a six-game point streak and the goal was his fifth power-play goal. Jonas Brodin had the initial point-blank shot, and the play was followed up on the rebound as Zucker shoveled it through.

Bobrovsky came up huge in a sequence where he was down in the blue as players for both teams crowded the crease. He stopped 19 of 20 in the second, and Dubnyk saved all 11 shots from Columbus. Minnesota players thought they had a goal just as time expired, but the horn blew, and the scoreboard indicated all zeros.

Scoring
Minnesota - Jason Zucker PPG 4:25
Mikael Granlund A
Jonas Brodin A

Shots
Minnesota 20 Columbus 11

Third Period

At a deadlocked tie midway through the third, Minnesota broke through on a break, with Charlie Coyle ripping a wrist shot to give the Wild their first lead.

On a power play, Panarin tied the game 15 seconds into the man-advantage. The goal was reviewed for goalie interference but the call stood. It’s Panarin’s 13th goal and the fifth power-play goal of the season for the Bread Man. Jones assisted on the play, adding his 25th of the year, and ninth point in January. He now has points in seven of the last eight games.

With the score tied at two, and just as the first meeting was decided beyond 60 minutes, Tuesday’s game also required overtime.

Scoring
Minnesota - Charlie Coyle G 12:10

Columbus - Artemi Panarin PPG 14:48
Cam Atkinson A
Seth Jones A

Shots
Minnesota 9 Columbus 9

Overtime

Alexander Wennberg scored the winner in overtime for Columbus back in Minnesota. Looking to do the same again, the Jackets are 6-0-0 in overtime and 6-0-3 in shootouts. Each side found some good chances — Wennberg had a point-blank look — but Dubnyk turned aside four shots, Bobrovsky three, and the game went to a shootout.

Shootout

Panarin has been virtually automatic in the skills competition, and it was no different against the Wild as he buried his league-leading sixth shootout goal. Chris Stewart also scored for Minnesota, and Parise ended it as the Wild beat Columbus 3-2.

Additional Notes

Bobrovsky made 41 saves, just off his season-high. Dubinsky played 14:57, 20 shifts, and won eight of 15 faceoffs. Panarin led the Jackets with four shots and Granlund led the game with seven. Columbus is now 19-5-4 when scoring first.

Classic John Tortorella. Torts was not happy.