When the Colorado Avalanche jumped to a two-goal lead in the first 10 minutes last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, you could feel the tension. After winning two in a row, were the Jackets backsliding? Laying another egg on the first night of a back-to-back?
The Jackets swung the momentum firmly the other way, though, as Boone Jenner answered 42 seconds after the Avs took a 2-0 lead. Jenner found himself trailing the play and Alexander Wennberg had all the time in the world, thanks to a Keystone Kops routine from the Colorado defense:
Jenner’s goal kicked off a streak of four unanswered goals from the Blue Jackets, including two from Thomas Vanek. In true Vanek fashion, both were scored from a combined distance of six feet, and a comfortable home win seemed inevitable. The third goal came from Zach Werenski, who extended his franchise record for season goals from a defenseman with this rocket:
And then...the third period. Gabriel Landeskog scored on the power play while Brandon Dubinsky occupied the penalty box (weird, huh?) and Carl Soderberg tied the game shortly after with 3:18 left in regulation. Woof.
Here’s a little fact you might know: the Blue Jackets are now 7-1 in overtime games this season. If you don’t beat ‘em in the first 60 minutes, forget about it.
Joonas Korpisalo, making his second straight start, made a point blank save on Nathan Mackinnon before Seth Jones scored 59 seconds into overtime to give the boys in blue a 5-4 win.
A regulation/overtime win is crucial now that we’re the second week into March, and a third straight win shows the Jackets are getting hot at the right time. Much of the postgame chatter shifted the focus from looking back at Florida to looking up at New Jersey and maybe even Philadelphia.
Sports Club Stats puts the Jackets at 58.8 percent to make the playoffs, one of the biggest jumps from last night. We know how that fickle odds can be and blowing the most dangerous lead in hockey doesn’t feel great, but Columbus rallied to get the win and keep themselves in the thick of it. With Detroit coming to town tonight, that’s all you can ask for.
- Good for Thomas Vanek. He said after the game it normally takes him five or six games to get used to a new team, and his goals were invaluable. Glad to see him find the net.
- Artemi Panarin had the most dynamic offensive game you can have without actually scoring. He had a couple of breakaways in the third and some wide open shots that unfortunately found bodies in front.
- We get to watch Zach Werenski and Seth Jones play together for a very long time. How lucky.
- Sergei Bobrovsky will start tonight against Detroit. Having him able to rest and recover while Korpisalo mans the shop as the playoffs draw closer will be huge if Columbus can make it in.