The Columbus Blue Jackets ended the year on a high note by defeating the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on New Year’s Eve. Since most of Columbus was probably distracted watching a different sporting event in the desert, here are ten things you need to know about Saturday’s game:
- The matchup between the streaking Blue Jackets and Wild was the first time in any major American professional sport that two teams with winning streaks of 12+ games played each other. Coming into the game, the Jackets had a 14 game winning streak while the Wild had won 12 games in a row.
- With the 4-2 victory, the Columbus Blue Jackets have now won 15 consecutive games, closing out the month of December undefeated. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1993 had a longer winning streak in NHL history. That team won 17 in a row.
- The Blue Jackets’ goal scorers were Cam Atkinson, Jack Johnson, and Seth Jones. Atkinson increased his team-leading goal total from 15 to 17 with two goals on the evening.
- Sergei Bobrovsky was spectacular again with highlight-reel saves throughout the night, with the first coming around the 7 minute mark of the first period. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk allowed four goals on 25 shots but still leads the league in goals-allowed average.
- A little over two minutes into the second period, Josh Anderson and Wild forward Chris Stewart dropped the gloves in a pretty even fight. As the two were being escorted to the penalty box, Matt Calvert and defenseman Matt Dumba got into it as well. Calvert and Dumba each received game misconduct penalties.
- The scrappy play seemed to give the Jackets a boost. Just over a minute after the fights, the Jackets scored two goals in 15 seconds to give the visiting team a 3-0 lead.
- The CBJ duo of Jack Johnson and David Savard were a combined plus- 2 on the evening (now plus- 45 on the season). The Wild combo of Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon was plus- 1 on Saturday night, now plus- 49 this year.
- The game never really felt in danger of losing from the perspective of a CBJ fan. The Jackets got off to a 3-0 lead by the early stages of the second period. It was 4-2 for most of the third period and, even on a power play with the goalie pulled, the Wild were unable to get closer as the final horn blew.
- The Blue Jackets will look to extend their winning streak with four games scheduled next week. Three of those will be at home in Nationwide Arena.
- The CBJ still sit atop the NHL standings, one point better than the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Jackets have at least three games in hand over every team in the top four.
Even though the football game didn’t go as planned for sports fans in Columbus, Ohio, the hockey team has plenty going for it. As we head into the new year, at least we have the CBJ and their 15-game winning streak still going strong. They’ll go for 16 on Tuesday night at home against the Edmonton Oilers.