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Recap: Hot Jackets Solve Smith; Douse Flames in overtime

Wednesday night featured a couple of hot hockey clubs in Central Ohio. The Jackets came in winners of four straight, while Calgary came in winning two in a row, and seven of their previous nine.

Let’s get to it.

First Period

The game had a nice pace to it from the opening faceoff, and particularly around the midway mark of the opening period. Columbus was quick to loose pucks as both teams spread the puck around and used the open ice in the transition game.

The pressure was rampant for stretches where the Jackets were making plays beyond the hash marks in the offensive zone and chipping shots and deflections at Smith.

Columbus had some nice looks early including an uncontested Oliver Bjorkstrand breakaway that did not fool Mike Smith, as he stopped the shot with the blocker.

The play originated along the side boards when Sonny Milano chipped into center ice.

Columbus had eight shots on goal inside the first seven minutes of the game.

It was a clean period featuring few whistles and neither team took a penalty. Boone Jenner had a nice booming end to the first period, making his presence felt with three hits.

14-10 SOG CBJ

2nd Period

The second period featured all three penalties of the evening. It was the top-10 rated penalty kill of the Jackets against the top-10 power play unit of the Flames. Calgary entered with the 31st-rated kill against the Jackets’ last-place power play.

Columbus would kill their lone penalty, and looked superb in doing it. They have now killed off 14 penalties in a row. The Jackets did a nice job of blocking shots and limiting the workload for Bobrovsky, as Columbus dominated the shot total.

Bjorkstrand led both teams with six shots on net through the first 40 and finished the game with seven.

12-3 SOG CBJ

3rd Period

Smith snatched a quick release one-time shot out of the air by Artemi Panarin to keep the game scoreless in the early portion of the third period.

Cam Atkinson was relegated to fourth line duty for the third alongside Tyler Motte and Lukas Sedlak.

The final frame of regulation featured the best chance of the game for either team. Originating in the neutral zone, Pierre-Luc Dubois came through center-ice, who passed to Panarin and chipped right back to Dubois. Dubois sent a quick pass over to Anderson who was waiting and stopped on Smith’s right doorstep, pad save.

That wasn’t all.

On the same sequence, Panarin corraled the loose puck and found an open Markus Nutivaara in the slot. Nutivaara dished back to Anderson who had an empty look at the net, but Michael Stone got his stick into the crease to keep the puck out and elude the Jackets of the scoring chance.

Later, Smith would poke check the puck free from Bjorkstrand’s stick.

With 19 seconds left in regulation, Bobrovsky made his key save of the game as a scramble in front ensued. Matthew Tkachuk had brought the play in from center ice, after Panarin, who was offside, purposely did not play the puck.

13-7 SOG CBJ


The Jackets and Flames each brought sterling overtime records into play—Calgary was 5-0, Columbus 6-1.

The thrilling conclusion came thanks to an unforced turnover by T.J. Brodie behind his own net. Nick Foligno ended his 12-game pointless drought as he quickly gobbled up the puck and fed Josh Anderson who buried his second overtime game-winner for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.

Not to be lost in the craziness of it all, as Smith made 40 saves, Bobrovsky posts his second-consecutive shutout and third of the season.

Additional Notes

As many tight, close games this year’s Jackets bunch has been a part of, the last scoreless regulation game featuring the club goes back to 2014, a shootout win against the Red Wings.

Johnny Gaudreau snapped a 10-game point streak, a personal best, and a six-game goal streak.

Sedlak returned to action after missing 13 games with an ankle injury sustained in practice last month. For the game, he had one shot on goal and skated 13 shifts in 8:57 of ice-time. Sedlak won five of seven faceoffs.

Columbus will hit the Thanksgiving break in first place after the win, as the Devils fell to the Bruins in a shootout. Columbus’ fifth straight win is a season-high.

The game was also Zach Werenski’s 100th career NHL game, and Atkinson became the seventh Blue Jacket to record 400 games with the franchise.

Columbus battles the Ottawa Senators Friday night from Nationwide Arena.