The Columbus Blue Jackets welcomed the Buffalo Sabres to town last night for a well attended game in Nationwide Arena. The Sabres came into town looking to continue their solid play, putting their three game winning streak on the line against a Jackets team that was still searching for its game consistently. In somewhat of a shock move, John Tortorella started Joonas Korpisalo ahead of Sergei Bobrovsky, electing to ride the hot hand and reward Korpisalo for his play in St. Louis.
How did it go? Well.....
The first line carried the Blue Jackets last night. Pierre-Luc Dubois scored the first goal for the team, Cam Atkinson scored two goals in the second period, and Artemi Panarin scored two goals including the game winner in overtime to give Columbus two badly needed home points. With the win, Columbus moves to 6-4-0 on the season, and moves to third in the Metropolitan Division.
Last night wasn’t an ideal night. There were some sloppy mistakes - the Blue Jackets took bad penalties, made bad passes, gave up four goals against, and blew a two goal lead in the third period. Despite these struggles, and a poorly played third period, the Blue Jackets did just enough to get the win.
Outside of the first line, the rest of the team played ... fine. Not outstanding, not terrible, but fine. Anthony Duclair was a standout tonight - he was visible all over the ice, and deserved a goal - he nearly scored one, but the Sabres were able to clear the puck off the line before it trickled over for a Jackets goal.
Cam Atkinson set a franchise record tonight, scoring two goals in 31 seconds, the fastest any one player has scored two goals in franchise history. Atkinson was buzzing and has taken over the team lead in goals on the season.
Two points is two points - there are issues to clean up, but with the lowly Red Wings coming to town on Tuesday, a chance to do so will be there. For now, the team can enjoy the fruits of the first line’s labor.