The Blue Jackets and Blues met in Columbus on Saturday night in what was an entertaining game for the fans at Nationwide Arena. With both squads battling for the two points up for grabs, it was the Blues’ hot goaltender who was the star of the night.
Both teams came into Saturday’s game with numerous similarities, so it was no surprise it was an evenly matched game for the most part.
Despite playing the night before, the St. Louis lit the lamp on their first shot of the game when Alexander Steen got a puck to trickle past Sergei Bobrovsky and into the net to put the visitors up 1-0 just three minutes into the game.
The Jackets appeared to score just 25 seconds later, but the goal was waived off after a quick review showed Cam Atkinson kicked the puck into the net.
Columbus kept their foot on the gas despite the goal getting called back, but Blues goalie Jake Allen stood tall. He had the save of the night keeping a Markus Nutivaara shot out of the net a few minutes later then stopped Artemi Panarin on a breakaway just after the 10-minute mark of the first period.
The score remained 1-0 throughout the remainder of the first period and a good portion of the second until Vladimir Tarasenko ripped a shot past Bobrovsky to put the Blues up 2-0.
Just when things could have started to get out of hand for the CBJ following a couple great saves by Sergei Bobrovsky, Cam Atkinson skated coast to coast and got a shot past Jake Allen to cut the deficit to one 9:37 into the second period. After all the great chances the Jackets had earlier in the game, Atkinson’s goal was probably one Allen would want back, although there was quite bit of traffic in front.
After the game, Cam Atkinson commented on his goal and the play of Jake Allen:
I had a bunch of chances and of course a fluky little shot went in…He played a really good game, stood on his head.
The pace picked up down the stretch in the second period with both sides playing fast and getting good opportunities, but neither team could add another as the game went into the third.
About halfway through the third period, the Jackets were the recipient of a four-minute power play when Alexander Wennberg got caught by a high stick. A couple minutes of the man advantage were nullified by a Nick Foligno slashing penalty, but the CBJ were unable to capitalize and tie the game.
Cam Atkinson acknowledged the missed opportunity with reporters after the game:
I mean, four minute power play, I thought we had some chances and then I think [Foligno] got a penalty there, but for the most part that’s our opportunity to really seal it there.
The final minutes of the third period were fast paced again as the CBJ were looking to get the equalizing goal. The team had chances, especially after getting the extra attacker on late, but were unable to beat Jake Allen. After 60 minutes, the scoreboard read St. Louis 2, Columbus 1.
Both teams played at a high level and the importance of the two points at stake was apparent. At home in a high-energy game against a team that played the night before, the Jackets probably should have had the advantage, but Jake Allen was the difference.
Seth Jones talked about the mood of the team after the loss:
A little frustration. I mean any time you think you should win a hockey game and you don’t it’s a little frustrating. I thought we put in some pretty good minutes tonight, so it is what it is and we gotta continue to build off this.
John Tortorella summed up the night:
We had ample opportunities to win the hockey game, we just couldn’t beat the goalie.
Now at 42-29-5 and with their 10-game winning streak snapped, the CBJ will be challenged to bounce back. They’ll will be back at it on Tuesday night in Edmonton as they take on the Oilers in the first of three games in Western Canada.