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Game #48 Recap: Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnnesota Wild

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Here’s what happened.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After last night’s home loss to the Montreal Canadiens, the Columbus Blue Jackets traveled to the Minnesota Wild seeking their fifth win in six games before the bye week and All Star Break. Columbus played well against the Canadiens but not well enough, as they rang shot after shot off the post and Montreal took advantage of coverage lapses to bury the Jackets for good.

The team made one lineup change tonight, in advance of the game:

For the Wild, Viktor Rask and Pontus Aberg made their debuts with the team. With Sergei Bobrovsky in net tonight, could the Jackets find their footing against a Wild team on the bubble in the West? Lets find out.

First Period

0 goals in Alex Wennberg’s last 30 games, 48 shots in 47 games. Great pregame graphic, Fox Sports Ohio. Starting on a solid note.

An early effort from Minnesota went just wide of the net as Bobrovsky lost sight of the puck and was forced to sprawl to cover his post. Minnesota carried the run of play through the first 2:20 until Minnesota was called for delay of game (too many men?). Regardless, Columbus’ power play, 4 for its last 15, took the ice. Naturally, the team lost the puck and had to reset just ten seconds in. A Zach Werenski shot went through Devan Dubnyk and trickled toward the net, but Dubnyk was able to cover. An Alex Wennberg shot sat on the pad of Dubnyk as Boone Jenner hammered away. No goal was signaled, but the play was reviewed and because the play was blown dead, the call stood.

Minnesota killed the penalty and resumed the pressure in the Columbus zone. An offside allowed a brief reprieve after a solid minute spent with Columbus scrambling, unable to clear the puck. Through ten minutes Minnesota had just three shots but were dominating offensive zone possession time.

Cam Atkinson had a solid chance in the slot that was deflected just wide of the net. On a rush the other way at the 12:30 mark, David Savard broke up a rush before a shot ever saw Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky made a series of great saves to keep the game scoreless with 6:30 to go in the first.

Finally, Minnesota’s offensive zone time paid off as they were able to take the lead. Columbus won the defensive zone face-off but failed to clear the puck Eric Staal gathered control of the puck and found Jordan Greenway who went knee down to bury it.

Minnesota goal (0-1): Greenway from Staal and Coyle, 16:07

Less than three minutes later, the Wild doubled their advantage. The Wild entered the zone and the Jackets left Zach Parise alone in the slot, who was able to bury it behind Bobrovsky. It was ... not a pretty sequence by the defense or Sergei Bobrovsky.

Minnesota goal (0-2): Parise from Aberg and Rask, 17:36

(It is a damn shame Minnesota no longer uses Prince for its goal song)

On review, it appeared to deflect through Seth Jones’ skate blade and that’s what fooled Bob. Just after the goal, Scott Harrington took a penalty for slashing at 18:18. The Jackets were able to get the game to intermission at 2-0, but yikes.

Second Period

Columbus started quickly, killing the last twenty seconds of the penalty. Minnesota was able to maintain zone time and nearly get a third as Charlie Coyle was left alone on the doorstep but was denied. Columbus earns their second power play at 2:06 as Zach Parise sat for interference. Thirty seconds into the power play, Minnesota had a two on one rush and rang a shot off the goal post. Seconds later, Artemi Panarin was able to get Columbus on the board on a power play goal. Nick Foligno found Pierre-Luc Dubois along the board and Dubois found Panarin, who picked his spot.

Columbus goal (1-2): Panarin from Dubois and Jones, 3:07

Fellow writer Will Chase called that power play goal. He wanted you all to know.

Despite being outshot 17-9, Columbus was back in the game. Artemi Panarin also registered his 6th power play goal to lead the team. Torts began to jumble the lines, swapping Anthony Duclair and Cam Atkinson.

A chance behind the defense saw Duclair get too close to Dubnyk and the puck poke checked away. Duclair has been solid this evening. The Jackets earned their third power play of the night as Luke Kunin sat for tripping at 10:13. The power play lasted 1:20 before Cam Atkinson’s frustration boiled over and he slashed Jared Spurgeon. 4v4 for 40 seconds, which quickly turned into a Wild powerplay. The Jackets went on a rush late in the penalty and, while Seth Jones crashed the net, he hit Dubnyk and took and interference penalty.

Columbus earned four on four play as Lukas Sedlak went on a rush and Mikko Koivu was forced to slash him with 14:37 gone in the second. With Atkinson on the doorstep, Dubnyk was able to keep the Wild up one off the ensuing face-off. The Jackets earned 1:07 of power play time and, with 12 seconds left in the man advantage, Panarin forced Dubnyk to juggle and hold onto the puck. The Wild killed the power play.

As the second period came to a close, Columbus trailed 2-1 on the scoreboard and 27-14 in shots.

Third Period

Faceoffs: Columbus 31%, Minnesota 69% #nice

Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund were denied in the early moments of the period as Sergei Bobrovsky lost his goal stick keeping the deficit at one. Zach Werenski forced Dubnyk to save and hold after a long shift in the Minnesota zone with 17:13 remaining. With 5:08 gone, a rush by the Minnesota Wild saw Seth Jones trip Jason Zucker for his second penalty of the night and the Wild’s 4th power play. Columbus killed the penalty, their fourth straight and 24th in a row over the last ten games. Columbus has the best penalty kill in the league since December 1.

Anthony Duclair had a great chance with 10:30 remaining but was bumped off the puck in front Dubnyk before he got a shot off. Seconds later, Dubnyk poke checked Josh Anderson away after Anderson got behind the defense.

On a turnover with 7:20 to go, Rask had a breakaway and was only blue to square one off the post, unable to beat Bobrovsky. Coyle and Staal were denied with 6:30 to go in a scramble in the slot.

Columbus was unable to truly generate pressure in the dying minutes, until they pulled Bobrovsky with 2:06 to go. Despite the extra skater, Columbus couldn’t find an equalizer.

Final

Minnesota Wild 2 Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Final Thoughts

Dear Dan Milstein:

Plenty of opportunities, not good enough offensively. The team is 0-2 since Brandon Dubinsky returned to the lineup, breaking a five game winning streak.

Not the way to go into the break when Panarin is meeting his agent in the biggest meeting for the future of the franchise since the fate of arena ownership was decided a few years back.

Up Next

The Columbus Blue Jackets are off for their bye week and the NHL All Star Game. The team returns to the ice again on Tuesday, January 29th when they take on the Buffalo Sabres at home.

Stay tuned with the Cannon, we will have content and coverage all week!