After going 1-2-0 last week, the Columbus Jackets were looking to find their winning ways again, starting with a matchup on the road against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.
It appeared Columbus was in the driver’s seat on the way to an easy victory after Boone Jenner scored to put the Jackets up 5-1.
That wasn’t the case.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, who scored the first and game-winning sixth goal for the road team described how the Jackets found a way to win:
We stayed composed…Not how you draw it up before the game, but, you know, we got the two points.
Head Coach John Tortorella noticed his club’s level of play drop before picking back up in the third period:
We got up 5-1 and we think it’s point night…When they score early in the third period…from that point I thought we checked really well
Defenseman Seth Jones put the nail in the coffin for any hopes of a Detroit comeback, scoring the final goal of the game into an empty net to put the Jackets up 7-5. Jones also noticed Columbus’ level of play dropped a bit after taking a big lead:
Second period we got a little lackadaisical, a little content with the lead. Something you can’t do in this league…We had to step up our game for sure.
In the end, it looks like Columbus not only improved to 14-8-2, but also learned something in the process. Torts had this to say:
It’s an opportunity to learn a lesson here. We’re very fortunate we’re on the right side of it tonight… Things are just never safe in this league anymore.
Here are a few noteworthy tidbits from the 7-5 victory for the CBJ
- Columbus led 3-0 after the first period, with Dubois, Josh Anderson and Artemi Panarin getting on the board in the first 20 minutes of action. Panarin had an unbelievable assist, hitting the puck off the board behind the net and right to Dubois, who made a nice move before beating Jimmy Howard. Josh Anderson scored a nice goal in transition and Panarin finally put the puck into the back of the net, scoring on the power play. Howard was pulled from the net for the remainder of the game after allowing three goals on 16 shots in the 1st.
- The Red Wings scored in the first minute of the second and the third period. As if John Tortorella didn’t have enough gray hairs.
- While Panarin finally scored after going more than ten games without a goal, Cam Atkinson had to settle for only an assist on the night after going seven consecutive games with a goal.
- Sergei Bobrovsky wasn’t great late in the game, but he deserves a lot of credit for setting the tone, stopping all ten shots from Detroit in the first period.
- Anthony Mantha raised the heartbeat of the collective CBJ fanbase a couple times, with two goals in the third period, each of which cut the Columbus lead to only one goal.
- Markus Nutivaara continues to have a breakout season on offense. He scored his third goal of the season to put the Jackets up 4-1 at the 5:02 mark of the second period.
- Perhaps the under-the-radar stat of the night was Zach Werenski’s ice time of 24:37. Werenski hadn’t been on the ice for more than 21 minutes in a game the last three weeks.
The Columbus Blue Jackets found their offensive groove once again on Monday, and they’ll hope to take some momentum back home for their next matchup on Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild.