The “highlight” of the period was a fight between Josh Anderson and Jamie Benn, triggered in retaliation for a hit in last week’s game. Whatever, fighting is stupid and this fight was stupid.
Torts liked it, of course:
After a scoreless first period, the Blue Jackets scored the game’s first goal on a Cam Atkinson power play marker from the right faceoff circle.
That makes it four straight games with a power play goal. #FireTortsAndPromoteBradLarsenToHeadCoach
The middle of the second period saw some controversy, when Seth Jones laid a big hit on Jason Dickinson and was retaliated on by former Jacket Blake Comeau.
Jones and Comeau went off with offsetting penalties: Jones 2 minutes for high-sticking and Comeau 2 minutes for cross-checking. Probably should have been more for Comeau, as his action was well outside of being a hockey player. Jones’ hit was too high and worthy of a penalty, but it is the sort of thing the refs need to control, rather than the players trying to police it themselves.
Then again, the officiating was all over the place in this game. The first period featured 3 Dallas power plays, while the second featured 3 Columbus power plays. In the third period, Riley Nash got called for boarding on a very ticky-tack call.
Late in the second, the Stars leveled things with a goal by Alexander Radulov. It came at the 18:20 mark (hey look, another goal given up in the final two minutes of a period) and was set up by a beautiful play by the rookie defenseman Miro Heiskanen. He turned Nick Foligno into a turnstile and set up Radulov for the one-timer.
With nine and a half remaining in a tied game, Pierre-Luc Dubois (playing his 100th career game) won an offensive zone faceoff. Ryan Murray received the puck at the blue line and made yet another perfect pass around the boards to Atkinson behind the net. Cam passed to a camped-out Dubois, who hammered the puck home while taking a high stick to the face. He skated to the bench blinking and wiping blood from his nose, but certainly happy to have scored the goal for his troubles. That gives the young center 6 goals and 9 points in the last 9 games.
Dallas put the pressure on late in the game trying to tie things up. There was the aforementioned Nash penalty that led to a power play, but the Jackets kept the Stars without a shot on goal in that two minute span. For the night, the Stars only recorded one shot on goal in 4 power plays.
It’s worth mentioning that Bob was vintage Bob yet again, making many key stops down the stretch. Dallas got nothing from 6 high danger shot attempts for in the final frame.
That’s 5 straight games with a point (3-0-2) for the Union Blue. They remain in first place in the Metro Division, two points ahead of the New York Rangers. The next game is Thursday night at Nationwide Arena for “Hockey Fights Cancer Night” against the heating-up Florida Panthers.