The Columbus Blue Jackets scored a cathartic victory at home on Tuesday, but could they build on that performance in the next game? Challenges awaited: last night’s game was on the road, and against a Dallas Stars team that is better than the Detroit Red Wings. On the other hand, the Stars were dealing with injuries and entered the game with just one win in their previous 10 games.
The game started with the Blue Jackets dominating play and controlling possession. They recorded the first five shots on goal and seemed to spend most of the time with the puck. On the other hand, they had their usual issues with bad passes and bouncing pucks, which limited their quality scoring opportunities. Over the last half of the period, momentum turned and the Stars recorded the last six shots on goal in the period.
Would it be a second period like the three goal effort on Tuesday? Not so much. The Stars dominated the early period before the Jackets started to battle back. Through the first 38 minutes it was a fairly sleepy game. Both teams were effective at creating turnovers and limiting scoring chances. There were just 46 shots on goal in the game, but 32 blocked shots. It was that kind of game.
Thankfully the Jackets drew first blood with less than two minutes remaining in the period. Nick Foligno won a board battle in the defensive zone and sent the puck down to the other end of the ice. Boone Jenner was first on the forecheck, sending Andrej Sekera into the boards. Eric Robinson was close behind, as well. Jenner got the puck and fired a quick, tight angle shot at the goal and it went in.
An example of hard work paying off pic.twitter.com/0BNGyPLpMP— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 5, 2021
It was a great hustle play and shot by Jenner. The definition of a greasy goal, and his eighth of the season.
The Jackets wasted no time in expanding their lead, with two goals in the first 4:05 of the final frame.
A clearing attempt by Riley Nash was intercepted, but Joel Kiviranta made an errant pass directly to Oliver BJORKSTRAND. He was left all alone in the slot, with plenty of time to set up and make his shot.
The third goal was another product of aggressive play in the offensive zone, with Robinson and Nick Foligno winning a board battle. A pass from Gabriel Carlsson set up Jenner for a long range shot from the top of the zone. Initially it looked like his second goal of the night but it deflected off of Robinson’s skate. This would be Robinson’s second game-winning goal of the season.
It couldn’t all be good news for the Jackets, as they still had 15 minutes to not blow their lead. The first Dallas goal was a long range snipe by Miro Heiskanen. Spoiler Alert: He’s good.
Not much you can do about that, but the next goal was less forgivable. Jason Robertson somehow was able to get behind Carlsson and Jenner and receive a pass from Esa Lindell on the doorstep of the crease.
It was a high event night for the Savard/Carlsson line, as they were on ice for two goals for AND two goals against.
Fortunately, the Jackets tightened up their defensive play after that goal, with a run of possession of their own over the next five minutes.
The saga of unworthy minute assignments continues, with the Laine/Roslovic/Atkinson getting the most minutes at 5v5 but having a 27.59% shot attempt share. Woof. The least used forward line was Bemstrom/Nash/BJORKSTRAND, who had the best shot attempt share (66.67%) and were on ice for a goal, but were also the lowest-event line (i.e. fewest combined shots for and against).
The win keeps the Blue Jackets in fifth place in the Central by both points and points percentage, with the Stars in eighth and sixth place, respectively. These two teams face each other again on Saturday night.