In their first game at Nationwide Arena of 2018, the Columbus Blue Jackets took their fans on a wild ride on their way to securing two points against the Florida Panthers.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have scored two power-play goals in a single game twice this season. Both instances have come against the Florida Panthers.
Their November 2nd matchup was the first time, and tonight’s contest was the second.
The scoring started just prior to the half-way point of the first period. With Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad in the penalty box for slashing, CBJ Captain Nick Foligno took a Pierre-Luc Dubois pass in the slot and sent the puck past James Reimer to put the Jackets up 1-0. The marker ended Foligno’s ten-game goalless drought.
The Jackets registered 12 of the game’s first 13 shots before the Panthers began to get more chances later in the first period. Despite a late penalty to Seth Jones, the score would remain 1-0 as the two teams went to the first intermission.
The Panthers capitalized on the man advantage early in the second period.
Just 31 seconds into the period, Evgenii Dadonov sent a centering pass to Jonathan Huberdeau, who knocked the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky to tie the the game up at one apiece.
The game would remain tied until late in the second period. With 2:11 remaining and the Jackets on the power play shortly after a two-man advantage ended, Artemi Panarin sent a cross-ice pass to Seth Jones, who then found Pierre-Luc Dubois on the doorstep, who chipped it past Reimer to reestablish the CBJ lead heading into the third period.
The Blue Jackets’ 2-1 lead would hold until late in the third period, when the Panthers tied it up again after pulling their goaltender during 4-on-4 play. Jonathan Huberdeau’s cross-ice pass went off Nick Foligno’s skate right to Aleksander Barkov, who sent it home with just 94 seconds left in regulation.
Although both teams had plenty of chances in overtime, the game would ultimately go to a shootout. It took eight rounds, but a Josh Anderson goal followed by a Sergei Bobrovsky stop secured the 3-2 CBJ victory.
With 48 shots on goal, their highest total of the season and first time breaking 40 since December 5th, John Tortorella was encouraged after the game about how the Blue Jackets responded to what had been recently emphasized in practice:
I like our mindset. We spent the last couple of days talking about that we have to shoot the puck more.
The Jackets improved to 24-16-3 with the win and avoided what would have been another devastating loss after allowing the late equalizing goal to the Panthers. The CBJ will head north of the border next to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.