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Recap: Not Dead Yet

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Here’s what happened last night in San Jose

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at San Jose Sharks
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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing start to the California road trip, the Columbus Blue Jackets entered Sunday night in San Jose looking to come home with SOMETHING. It wasn’t always pretty, but they got it.

The action got started halfway through the first period, when Nick Foligno took a hooking penalty. The Jackets’ PK held strong and had possession as the penalty expired. Matt Calvert carried the puck through the neutral zone, then drop passed to a trailing Foligno, fresh out of the box. Foligno’s snipe was good and the Jackets struck first, as they had in the first two games of the trip.

Foligno’s penalty was the first of four penalties taken by Blue Jackets players, three of those coming in the first period. The PK did a great job shutting them all down, though of course the best penalty killer is Sergei Bobrovsky.

Late in the period, the Jackets struck again, this time on a breakaway with Boone Jenner sending a perfect pass to Sonny Milano. This was Sonny’s third goal in four games since returning to the lineup. He is heating up at exactly the right time. He and BJORKSTRAND were fantastic together tonight.

Unlike the past couple games, the Jackets showed up to play in the second period. Early in the period, the unforgettable Ian “King” Cole unleashed a slap shot and it appeared he had his first goal as a Blue Jacket. Replay showed that Artemi Panarin had deflected the shot. Whoever got it, that was a huge goal and allowed the Jackets (and their fans) to breathe easier.

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones was replaced after this.

The Sharks were not done, however. With a minute and a half left in the second, they finally got on the board. Dylan DeMelo’s shot got deflected by Joonas Donskoi, who had snuck behind Ryan Murray. Murray was often out of position around the goal, and even got yelled at by Bob a few times.

If San Jose had appeared to sleepwalk through the first half of the game, they certainly woke up after that goal. Halfway through the third new arrival Evander Kane got his first goal, off a pass from Joe Pavelski. The force of the shot seemed to take Bob by surprise, as it trickled past after hitting him on the inside of the arm.

The insurance goal didn’t come until 52.3 seconds left, off the stick of Panarin. With that goal, Bread became the first Columbus player this season with 20 goals. They were one of the last teams this season to get their first 20 goal scorer.

The real hero, of course, was Bob:

With this win, the Blue Jackets and their 71 points are back in the second wild card position, one point ahead of Florida. The Panthers, however, still have 3 games in hand.

Next up: the Jackets are back home on Tuesday to host the Vegas Golden Knights. See you then!