The Chicago Blackhawks, cellar dwellars in the Central Division this season, visited Nationwide Arena last night to take on a Columbus Blue Jackets squad that has been maddeningly inconsistent this season. The Columbus Blue Jackets needed a win to stay in the thick of the playoff race ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
The Jackets returned Jussi Jokinen to the lineup after sitting out Thusday’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. As a result, Zac Dalpe watched last night’s game from the rafters. Sergei Bobrovsky got the start in net.
Here’s what happened.
An aside: guys, I know the team hasn’t been great lately, but they’re in a playoff spot. Being outnumbered in the stands like that is awful.
Jussi Jokinen was absolutely at fault for Chicago opening the scoring 1:28 into the game. He gave the puck away on the half wall and Ryan Hartman was able to capitalize on a backhand in front of Bobrovsky that David Kampf tipped home.
Columbus worked hard to find their footing in the game after, with several chances coming, including a breakaway by Cam Atkinson where he was unable to get a shot off on goal.
Brandon Dubinsky went to the box for holding with 13:20 to go in the first. The Jackets were able to kill the penalty though, not allowing a shot on goal.
Cam Atkinson had a great chance with 8:45 to go, but Anton Forsberg was able to get just enough of it to send it aside. That came after some great cycle work by Artemi Panarin and Pierre Luc Dubois.
Brandon Dubinsky made an excellent backcheck to deny a Chicago breakaway chance with 13 minutes gone in the period.
Play was called with 5:35 to go as Sergei Bobrovsky headed to the bench. Thankfully, it was simply an equipment issue and he was able to carry on without incident.
#CBJ Ryan Murray is back in the locker room as the team heads to the power play.— Kristyn Repke (@kristynrepke) February 25, 2018
The Jackets earned a power play with 2:54 to go as Lukas Sedlak was hit with a high stick. Cam Atkinson was able to take advantage with 2:17 to go, with assists to Pierre-Luc Dubois and Seth Jones. It goes down as Cam’s first power play goal of the season and the team’s first in ten tries.
Immediately after, Sergei Bobrovsky was able to keep the score knotted with an insane three save sequence.
After 20 minutes, we were tied at one apiece. Shots favored Columbus 13-10.
Murray is coming back out to start the second. Exhale. #CBJ— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) February 25, 2018
Anton Forsberg made a great save on Oliver Bjorkstrand two minutes into the period after some nice play by the Jackets to open the period.
The Jackets went to the penalty kill with 16:12 to go as Lukas Sedlak went off for holding the stick. It followed a Blackhawks attempt that hit the inside of the post. The Jackets were able to kill the penalty.
Chicago was able to regain the lead on a slick feed from Patrick Kane. Kane drew the attention and was able to find Tomas Jurco for his first goal of the season at 9:20.
Cam Atkinson got the puck all alone between the hash marks just minutes later and couldn’t send it home. Cam’s finishing has been crazy poor this season.
Seth Jones went to the box at 11:45 for tripping Tommy Wingles. The Jackets were able to kill their third penalty of the night, allowing three shots.
Chicago hit the post of the second time in the period shortly after.
Pierre-Luc Dubois equalized seconds later. Artemi Panarin led a rush up ice and made a wonder-pass through two Hawks to Dubois who was able to bury it in a gaping net with 5:30 to go in the period. That was Panarin’s 50th point of the season (17-33-50).
Artemi Panarin makes his former team pay by finding PLD for a beauty. They're both very good at hockey. pic.twitter.com/dyi7Q02Epx— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 25, 2018
The period ended tied at two.
Zach Werenski fanned on a one time shot early in the third that would have been a goal had he connected cleanly.
Bobrovsky made another outstanding sequence of saves to keep the game tied at two with five minutes gone in the period.
Chris Johnston reporting on Headlines that contract talks are off between Jack Johnson and the Blue Jackets.— Paul Berthelot (@PaulBerthelot) February 25, 2018
Bobrovsky made several key saves to keep the Jackets in this, and he’s been far and away the best player on the ice tonight.
Josh Anderson gave the CBJ their first lead on a bad play by Anton Forsberg. His team leading 18th came by hitting Forsberg (who was not hugging the post), then hit the post and bounced in with 8:46 to go in the third.
hit the breaks and let it rip pic.twitter.com/Fo6xto2jpW— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 25, 2018
The Jackets were able to see out the final minutes with little incident to notch a win.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3 Chicago Blackhawks 2