The CBJ hosted the New York Rangers on Friday in what will be last matchup between these two teams until late March. The Jackets played a complete 60-minute game as they defeated the Rangers by a final score of 2-0.
Coming into Friday’s game against New York, the Jackets were coming off two straight road victories. Both were one-goal wins, with the first coming in a shootout and the other in overtime. Despite the game being played at a torrid pace, both goaltenders made spectacular saves to keep their respective teams in the game.
After a scoreless first period, Zach Werenski got the Jackets on the board first late in the second, just seconds after a terrific save by Sergei Bobrovsky. After the game, Werenski described the play:
Great save by Bob and then we broke it out…just tried to jump up in the play and create some offense, stopped just knowing that if anything happens I have to get back, and it found it’s way on my tape, shot it and put it in the net, so it felt pretty good.
One of the storylines of the season has been the CBJ power play and their continual lack of success. Just prior to the half-way point of the third period, the Columbus Blue Jackets scored a power play goal.
It was a bit of a busted play where the Jackets were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone following a failed clearing attempt, but it counts all the same. Artemi Panarin sent a wicked slap shot past Henrik Lundqvist to put the CBJ up 2-0. After going 0-for-2 on the PP earlier in the game, the Panarin goal put an end to an 0-18 drought on the man advantage dating back to November 2nd.
With a little over three minutes left in the game, the Rangers pulled Lundqvist in an attempt to find anything on offense, but they couldn’t beat Bobrovsky. With the shutout on Friday, Bob’s now stopped 94 of 96 shots on net in the last three games.
After the game, Josh Anderson commented on how well the team performed:
I think we played the right way, we played the way we’re supposed to play, CBJ hockey. We were finishing checks, we were getting pucks deep, and playing in their end instead of ours.
The Jackets seemingly played more to their identity on Friday night, as John Tortorella said after the game:
After a quarter way through the season, we’ve got to get it straightened out who we are. We could talk about it, we can show tape about it, but we gotta play like who we are. I thought we took a step in the right direction tonight.
The Blue Jackets improved to 12-7-1 on the season and have moved into a tie for first place in the division. They’ll look to continue to build off their recent success on Monday night in Buffalo against the Sabres, going for their fourth consecutive victory.