Game 21 Recap: Almost Streak Killers
The Jackets showed a hell of a lot of resiliency against the NHL's top team, but couldn't end Chicago's streak after forcing overtime.
This matchup had the makings of a typical trap game. The Jackets were looking to be streak killers, but though they took the top team to overtime, they couldn't overcome their attack.
First Period Notes:
- Columbus gave the start to Steve Mason, with Ray Emery tending goal for Chicago.
- Due to a last minute injury to John Moore in the game day skate, defenseman Dalton Prout was called up. He got a last-minute flight to Chicago, arriving on the bench midway through the first.
- The Jackets didn't take long to get on the board- just 31 seconds in Vinny Prospal scored his 250th career goal to give Columbus the lead. Vinny was able to pot the rebound past Emery after he flubbed a Derek Dorsett shot.
- For a majority of the first period, the Jackets were giving the Blackhawks fits, outhustling and outshooting Chicago. On one particular shift, Ryan Johansen and Cam Atkinson showed off their offensive creativity with a dominant sequence in the Chicago zone. They came very close to scoring- Johansen fed a beauty pass to Atkinson out front, who deked but couldn't beat the outstretched skate of Emery.
- It was fun to see Nick Foligno throw down with Sheldon Brookbank. I would have bet that Brookbank would have taken that bout, but Foligno was the clear victor, landing some heavy ones.
- Unfortunately, any momentum gained from the scrap and 15 minutes of strong play was erased when he team was whistled for too many men. The Jackets' PK was able to hold the 'Hawks off, but shortly after the penalty expired, noted Jacket killer Viktor Stalberg beat Mason after a scramble in front.
- Score after the first: 1-1
Second Period Notes:
- The start of the middle frame saw each team alternate chances. The physical play started to pick up, and early in the period Fedor Tyutin was hit hard by Daniel Carcillo. Toot's defense partner Nikita Nikitin went to his defense, throwing down with Carcillo. Nikki6 is anything but a fighter, but major, major props to him for sticking up for his countryman and defense partner.
- Has Jonathan Toews ever smiled?
- After more and more, and more, back and forth play Artem Anisimov received the puck just inside the Chicago blueline. He slapped the puck on net, deflecting off of Carcillo and past Emery. It's amazing to think that after the huge scare that Arty gave us in Detroit, only a few days later he'd be back in the lineup scoring goals. He's such an easy player to love.
- Late in the period however, the wheels fell off the bus. Less than a minute after letting in a softie to Patrick Sharp, Tyutin didn't put enough mustard on a cross-ice pass at the Chicago blueline, and it was picked off by Bryan Bickell. Bickell skated in, kept the puck, and wired it past Mason.
- Score after the second: 3-2 Blackhawks.
Third Period Notes:
- The third period saw the 'Hawks dictate the pace and flow early on. The Jackets struggled to get things going offensively, but managed to keep Chicago from developing offense. You can say one thing about this version of the Jackets- they are most definitely hard to play against. Mission accomplished on that front.
- Vinny Prospal was buzzing around the net all night. He had two fantastic chances in the third, but was unable to beat Emery. I wonder, given the reported gentleman's agreement in terms of his contract whereby he joins the organization after he retires, if he continues to score at his current clip, if he doesn't play for another year or two? I for one would like to see Vinny suit up for at least one more year, if for nothing other than the exhilarating goal celebrations he provides.
- Down by one, the Jackets started their push late in the period. After a great keep-in by R.J. Umberger at the Chicago blueline, he passed the puck to Nick Foligno. Foligno then made a beauty pass inside to Johansen, who pulled off a filthy deke to beat Emery for his first goal of the season.
- End of regulation: 3-3.
- The teams each threw pucks on net, alternating scoring chances. At one point, Brandon Saad caught the puck in front of the Columbus net and tossed it behind Mason. My opinion? Could have been a penalty. At any rate, the goal was obviously waived off.
- By going to overtime, the streak was still alive for Chicago, and they firmed it up by sealing the victory off of the stick of Brent Seabrook. Captain Zero Effing Personality Toews eluded a check on the left wing, charging toward Mason. He fed a no-look cross-crease pass, where Seabrook was there to deposit the puck in the net.
Final Score: 4-3 Blackhawks
1) You have to give it to Mason, outside of the softie to Sharp, he was damned good tonight.
2) Arty. You gave us a scare, but we're over the moon to have you back.
3) Johansen scored a beauty of a goal, and finished with a very good game. He needs to build off of this outing and establish consistency.
4) Props to Chicago on their impressive winning streak.
5) Congrats to Vinny on career goal # 250!
Bottom of the Barrel:
1) Patrick Kane will be top of any negative list I will ever create.
2) Tyutin's soft pass, leading to the Bickell goal was definitely bonehead moment.
3) The Jackets fail to secure the victory.
The Jackets return home to face the Avalanche on Sunday.