For the first time in seemingly forever, the power play of the Columbus Blue Jackets has come to life. After scoring one goal in three opportunities on the man advantage Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, the CBJ PP tallied two in three opportunities on Friday night in Washington against the Capitals.
Blue Jackets fans have a lot to feel good about after Friday’s contest.
First of which, is the aforementioned power play. After an 0-for-20 stretch through five games starting two weeks ago, the Jackets have three power play goals in their last two games. Oliver Bjorkstrand, who was filling in for an ill Cam Atkinson on the top power play unit Friday evening, scored the first goal of the night for the CBJ, taking an impressive between-the-legs, no-look drop pass from Nick Foligno and sending the puck past a scrambling Braden Holtby and into the net with 2:44 remaining in the first period.
After the Capitals tied the game up with a power play goal of their own in the second period, Anthony Duclair scored the Jackets’ second PPG of the night in what would turn out to be the game winner at the 5:09 mark of the third period.
The next thing CBJ fans should take away from this game is that Sergei Bobrovsky appears to be back. Bob made 33 saves on 34 shots, and has limited the opposition to one goal in consecutive games for the first time all season. When things got a little dicey down the stretch on Friday night, including a key penalty kill with 43 seconds left in the third period and an extra attacker on, Bobrovsky stood tall and kept the Caps out of the net to secure the 2-1 CBJ victory. He was certainly deserving of the first star of the game honors he received.
Finally, it’s a little early to put too much stock into this, but the Jackets are in first place in the Metropolitan Division. Through the ups and downs of the season to this point, the CBJ have gotten off to the best start of the bunch. There’s a slight asterisk here, as they’ve played one more game than the Capitals and New York Islanders, both of which could catch or pass the CBJ with that extra opportunity for two points, but for now at least, the Blue Jackets sit on top.
After getting booted from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by these Washington Capitals last spring, the Blue Jackets at least got a little monkey off their back by beating them in regulation in their own arena on Friday night. CBJ fans this year know better than to get too confident after a solid performance, however, so expectations are tempered, at least temporarily until they do it again. And again. And again. Next up for the Jackets will be the New York Rangers on Saturday night back at Nationwide Arena.