The Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings met at Nationwide Arena on Friday in a game between two teams trending in opposite directions. The CBJ came into the contest winners of three straight while the Wings entered Friday’s matchup losers of five consecutive games.
With the end of the season less than a month away, there would be no better time for the Blue Jackets to start getting things heading the right direction than right now. Looking for their fourth straight win, the CBJ were able to get on the board first against the Red Wings.
While shorthanded and with 4:27 remaining in the first period, Matt Calvert entered the offensive zone along with with Alexander Wennberg and David Savard. Calvert passed the puck to Wennberg, who circled behind the net and sent it right back out in front back to Calvert, who buried it past Wings goalie Jared Coreau.
Just 21 seconds later, the Red Wings responded with a goal of their own when Darren Helm beat Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 1-1.
The second period belonged to Thursday’s CBJ overtime hero, Seth Jones.
At the 1:45 mark of the second, Seth Jones took a pass from Artemi Panarin in a two-on-one opportunity and beat Coreau to put the home team back on top.
A few minutes later, Boone Jenner and Thomas Vanek skated in on Coreau, Jenner got a shot off and Jones cleaned it up to make it 3-1 CBJ 8:45 into the second period.
The two-goal lead stood until late in the third period, when Andreas Anthanasiou put one past Bobrovsky with 3:43 remaining in the game to bring the Wings to within one.
As the final seconds ticked away, Sergei Bobrovsky, who missed the last two games due to an illness, made an outstanding save to secure the 3-2 regulation win for the Blue Jackets.
After the game, John Tortorella commented on Seth Jones and what he means to this team:
He’s had a hell of a year offensively but the most important part about Jonesy’s game is he’s becoming a leader.
Seth Jones led the CBJ to their fourth straight win on Friday, improving their record to 36-28-5. Now just two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers, who hold third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Jackets will look to make it five wins in a row at home on Monday against the Montreal Canadiens.