Game 61 Recap: Blue Jackets slash down Buffalo thanks to Eric Robinson’s hat trick

Tage Thompson’s seen better.

Three months after their brutal 9-4 slaughtering at the hands of the Sabres, the Jackets looked to exact their revenge in Buffalo. Sitting just one point outside of the playoffs going into the night, Buffalo desperately needs to maintain their winning ways. Sitting 23 points outside of the playoffs, Columbus does not.

First Period

The game started off with a bang, with Kent Johnson and Tage Thompson scoring nearly identical goals 18 seconds apart, sniping past a defender into the top corner.

BLUE JACKETS POWER PLAY GOAL - Kent Johnson from Blankenburg and Merzlikins - 2:53 1st Period

SABRES GOAL - Tage Thompson from Skinner and Quinn - 3:11 1st Period

After that, the Sabres took control of the pace of play for the most part, getting consistent time in the Jackets’ zone and several decent chances. Elvis stayed sharp to keep things the score at ones. That didn’t leave the Jackets chanceless, however; in fact, Eric Robinson would take advantage of a turnover to give Columbus the lead.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Eric Robinson, unassisted - 13:41 1st Period

Now with the lead, the Jackets starting picking up a bit, playing more even with Buffalo through the back half of the period. Both teams got a couple more looks, but nothing good enough to find the back of the net. Of note, the Jackets’ 15 shots on goal nearly doubled their season’s average shot total for the first period (8.6).

Second Period

Jack Roslovic wanted one thing and one thing only coming out for the second: to trip Tage Thompson. He got nabbed nine seconds in, and the Jackets were somehow able to kill the penalty. From there, Columbus took control of the game, with Robinson and Laine getting chances early. The Jackets maintained a solid grip on the flow of the game, getting several chances, including Cole Sillinger and Laine, again, before Eric got his second of the night.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Eric Robinson (2) from Kuraly and Laine - 11:53 2nd Period

The Jackets continued to control the game and keep up the pressure, sapping Key Bank Arena of any and all energy. They kept the Sabres from getting anything going in the rest of the period. And while we were all content to go to intermission with dreams of a Gavrikov + Korpisalo to LA trade, Boone Jenner decided to get one more one the board, dangling around the defense and putting the puck through Craig Anderson.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Captain Boone Jenner from Blankenburg and Peeke - 19:42 2nd Period

Third Period

The period briefly started with some back and forth action, with the Bemstrom-Sillinger-Foudy line having a particularly great shift early. Then, the Buffalo Sabres remembered that they were, in fact, much better than the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jack Quinn started the comeback with a snipe on a 2-on-1.

SABRES GOAL - Jack Quinn from Samuelsson - 5:02 3rd Period

After a couple good response shifts, the Sabres put the foot back on the gas. The Jackets were reeling, and good communication was the first to go, as Columbus got nabbed having six dudes on the ice without pulling their goalie. Buffalo’s power play was dominant, forcing Elvis to make a pair of brilliant saves before JJ Peterka put got one through.

SABRES POWERPLAY GOAL - JJ Peterka from Power and Krebs - 9:46 3rd Period

This time, there were no good response shifts, as the tying goal seemed inevitable. The Columbus was unable to get out of their own zone, only able to ice the puck as Buffalo put the knife to their throats. Then, Sean Kuraly took an inopportune tripping penalty with 4:58 to go. The Sabres dominated their power play, as expected, but the Jackets were able to kill it off. Divine intervention was needed to protect the lead, and the Blue Jackets got it.

With the hockey gods summoned, and chaos mode active, Eric Robinson got his hatty on an empty net. Jackets win, 5-3.

BLUE JACKETS EMPTY NET, HAT TRICK GOAL - Eric Robinson (3) from Jenner - 19:25 3rd Period

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