I thought everybody contributed, I thought we played…more of the style of game that we need to play.
Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella was happy with the performance from his team, who wasn’t playing up to snuff for the most part before tonight’s 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
After going down 2-0 at the 12:40 mark of the first period, Columbus didn’t flinch. They kept playing the same way. Their patience paid off. With 3:13 remaining in the opening period, Defenseman Ryan Murray gave the team a much-needed spark. Murray controlled the puck, passing it off the boards to himself in the offensive zone and centered the biscuit to Boone Jenner, who scored with one second remaining on the power play. The Jackets went on to score three consecutive goals of their own in the first nine minutes of the second period.
Jenner eluded to the importance of the three-goal burst to start 2nd period when he spoke to the media afterwards:
Our start to the second period was really strong and that’s what really pushed us.
Oliver Bjorkstrand had a critical turnover that allowed the Blues to go up 2-0 in the first, but he kept his poise and was credited with the primary assist on a goal scored by Anthony Duclair at the 2:04 mark of the 2nd period. Jenner added his second goal of the game less than 90 seconds later and David Savard scored his first goal of the season at the 8:58 mark to put the CBJ up 4-2. Goaltender Jake Allen was taken out of the game after allowing the fourth goal and witnessing all the momentum shift in favor of the road team.
The Blues cut the deficit back down to one goal, when Alexander Steen looked as if he was going to pass the puck, but instead sniped it past Columbus Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to make it a score of 4-3. At this point, Korpi could’ve had his confidence shaken, but instead, it simply led up to multiple highlight-reel saves in the near future.
Torts made a reference to one of the aforementioned saves of the highlight-reel variety. It came at with 5:58 remaining in the 2nd period with Korpisalo robbing Alex Pietrangelo on the doorstep:
That glove save he made, when it’s 4-3 is a huge save.
It only took Josh Anderson 38 seconds to kick off the scoring in the final period, as he sped up towards the net and received a perfect pass from Panarin before making a quick forehand-to-backhand move and tapping the puck into the back of the net. Panarin had three assists on the night, and Anderson wasn’t hesitant to compliment him after the game:
You know Bread, he can make those great passes.
Anderson noticed the team played a more physical hockey game for 60 minutes on Thursday:
We were definitely a meaner team tonight and, and playing that physical part of the game…I think that’s gonna help us going into the next game too.
Duclair would score his second goal on the night and Seth Jones got his first goal of the season as well to put the Jackets up 7-3.
After trailing 2-0, Columbus outscored St. Louis 7-1 over the next 30 minutes of action on the game clock, essentially making the final 13 minutes of the game nothing more than garbage time, with the Blues scoring one more time to make it a final score of 7-4.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will attempt to build on the momentum of their impressive showing that put the club back over the .500 mark. Their next game is Saturday night at Nationwide Arena against the Buffalo Sabres.