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Game #50 Recap: Jets Rally to Clip Blue Jackets, 4-3

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Two third period goals lift Winnipeg over Columbus

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Connor scored with 1:14 left in regulation to lift the Winnipeg Jets over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night at Bell MTS Place, 4-3.

Columbus held a 3-2 lead heading into the third period on goals from Artemi Panarin, Josh Anderson and Oliver Bjorkstrand. The Jets controlled play for much of the final period, surviving a late CBJ power play—complete with a controversal injury stoppage—and scoring two goals from Jack Roslovic and Connor for the win.

Cam Atkinson missed the game after taking a puck to the face in warmups, prompting recent callup Mark Letestu to draw in for the first time this season. Atkinson will reportedly be okay after receiving some stitches and light dental work.

The Blue Jackets saw their 12-game win streak on Thursdays snapped and their current losing streak extended to four, the longest of the season. Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves on 26 shots while Connor Hellebuyck went 28-for-31. Winnipeg posted seven scoring chances in the third to the Blue Jackets’ two, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

First Period

The Blue Jackets didn’t start off on the best foot as Pierre-Luc Dubois committed a holding penalty 1:21 into the game. Two Winnipeg shots and one big Bobrovsky save later, the CBJ emerged unscathed.

The scoreless tie didn’t last for long. An awful clearing attempt from Dean Kukan to Anthony Duclair at the blue line ended up on the stick of Blake Wheeler, who found Mark Scheifele for the night’s first goal.

Jets 1, Blue Jackets 0, 15:26 left in the first period

Duclair’s turnover cost him playing time—namely, the rest of the game.. That was the last shift he played, finishing the night with 24 seconds of ice time.

The Blue Jackets tied the game on a nifty play from Ryan Murray and Artemi Panarin midway through the period. Murray sent a point pass through Blake Wheeler’s skates to No. 9, whose wrister beat Connor Hellebuyck for a 1-1 tie.

Blue Jackets 1, Jets 1, 11:08 left in the first period

Ryan Murray appeared to hurt his knee in a collision prior to the goal, but he stayed on the ice to make the setup pass. He remained on the bench for while, but did return eventually.

The Blue Jackets went on their first power play by way of a Mathieu Perrault slashing penalty with 7:20 left. Maybe Martin St. Louis is already paying dividends, because Columbus notched a power play goal to take the lead. Off a faceoff win that led to a quick rush, Pnaarin took the puck down the right wing and connected with Anderson in the slot for a point blank score.

Blue Jackets 2, Jets 1, 6:30 left in the first period.

Winnipeg gave the CBJ another power play before intermission, but the Jackets could not convert. Still, the visitors took a 2-1 lead into the dressing room and salvaged a rough start for a good road lead 20 minutes in.

Second Period

A juicy Jets one-timer chance from Blake Wheeler sailed past the target seconds before a Scheifele crease shot missed as well, spoiling two great early opportunities for Winnipeg.

Zach Werenski headed off for interference with 13:13 left on the clock, giving the Jets their second power play of the night. Winnipeg threatened for virtually the entire PP, but Bob and the defense stood tall to kill the penalty. The advantage set off a rollicking run of action, featuring 6:13 without a stoppage.

After the next media timeout, the Jets were able to tie it up. The Jets won a neutral zone battle and Mason Appleton threw a backhand prayer at Bob…a prayer that hit Bob’s glove, chest and leg before squeaking through the five-hole for a goal. In soccer, that’s called a “howler.”

Blue Jackets 2, Jets 2, 6:39 left in the second period

Less than a minute after, Nick Foligno dove to break up a golden chance for Bryan Little. Alexander Wennberg headed the other way and passed to Oliver Bjorkstrand, who beat Hellebuyck to answer the Jets’ PP goal and put the visitors back ahead:

Blue Jackets 3, Jets 2, 5:42 left in the second period

The score held there, setting up a third period with the Blue Jackets ahead by a goal.

Third Period

The final period kept the pace of the previous two. The action flowed for the start of the third, with a near breakaway for Foligno followed immediately by another doorstop chance for the Jets.

Ryan Murray, battling his own leg problems all night, tripped Blake Wheeler 7:03 into the period for Winnipeg’s third PP. Unlike other power plays, the Blue Jackets were able to stymie the Jets in the neutral zone and blue line to kill a huge chunk of the advantage. Winnipeg really didn’t set up until the final 30 seconds...but that was enough. Jack Roslovic hung out on the dot on Bob’s stick side and sniped a wrister past No. 72 to tie the game at 3-3.

Blue Jackets 3, Jets 3, 11:13 left in the third period

Did you know Roslovic is from Columbus?

The CBJ caught a break late in the frame on everyone’s favorite rule. Ryan Murray picked off a pass at center ice took take the puck deep in Winnipeg territory, where it looked like Mark Scheifele lifted a puck over the glass. The clear drew the ire of three different Blue Jackets and prompted a discussion between the four officials, resulting in the Jackets’ third power play with 6:07 on the clock.

Columbus set up shop and appeared to have an actual functioning power play for awhile, until a Werenski one-timer zapped Brandon Tanev in the back to force a stoppage. John Tortorella was less than pleased with the referee’s whistle:

With no PP goal and the game time, the Jets eventually scored on Connor’s goal to take the win (after a Josh Anderson hooking penalty, natch).

Final Thoughts

  • The Jackets lost and blew a third period lead late again, but they looked like a much different team than Tuesday night. They stood toe-to-toe with Winnipeg for long stretches and, with a decent goaltending performance, likely would’ve won.
  • 22 points in 27 games for Seth Jones. Two assists against Winnipeg. Not bad.
  • Cam received four stitches and had his tooth pushed back into position after Lukas Sedlak’s warmup shot glanced off the crossbar and into Cam’s face.
  • Columbus killed 27 straight penalties Roslovic’s goal.
  • You think Anthony Duclair stays in Columbus after this year? That’s a real question. On one hand, he absolutely knew what he was getting into the season with Tortorella and he’s having a career resurgence. On the other hand, if you’re Torts, you’ve lost one of your top scorers, called out your centers earlier today, are dealing with several injuries and decide “I’m gonna create another problem?” God bless, man.
  • Tortorella double shifted Panarin quite a bit. Use him while you got him, I guess.
  • Not Bob’s best. We haven’t seen him at his best in awhile. Minnesota was okay, but that was in a loss...New Jersey on December 23? You have to go back that far?
  • Back at home against St. Louis on Saturday. A win would go a long way to easing some tensions.