On the third of November, the Columbus Blue Jackets were defeated by a final score of 4-1 when they faced the Los Angeles Kings in the Staples Center. In that game, the Jackets failed to score a power-play goal and gave up two shorthanded goals in one of their worst performances of the season. Last night Columbus got their revenge, defeating the Kings 4-1 at Nationwide Arena
Here are five things the Columbus Blue Jackets did to earn their first victory at home in the month of December.
Execute On Special Teams
The CBJ are below the league average in both power-play and penalty-kill efficiency. On Thursday they stepped up their game–not allowing any goals on the PK and adding a power-play goal in the second period from Artemi Panarin.
Dustin Brown was the first player to score, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead at the 3:54 mark. However, the Jackets led 2-1 by the end of the first period and–more importantly–scored four consecutive goals after trailing early.
Plenty of Bread
Artemi Panarin (also known as The Breadman) scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season respectively. His first came just over the halfway mark of the 1st period and his second came while on the man-advantage in the 2nd period. Panarin has been drawing plenty of attention and done a phenomenal job distributing the puck. It was nice to see him on the scoring end of things for a change of pace. Maybe Thursday’s performance will be a catalyst for a lot more goals in Bread’s near future.
Keep The Foot On The Gas Petal
Panarin gave the Jackets a 3-1 lead at the 16:25 mark of the 2nd period. WIth a two-goal lead the Jackets didn’t sit back. Instead they put their foot on the gas and scored 20 seconds later. Josh Anderson buried his 13th goal of the season to give the home club a demanding 4-1 lead that would hold up for the remainder of the contest.
Play Sound Defensively
While one could easily debate the Jackets played better defensively on Tuesday against Vancouver, Thursday’s performance on defense in the neutral zone and in the D end was a massive improvement from what we saw from the squad last week. The checking was solid, there weren’t huge spaces for the opposition to work and the Jackets limited odd-man rushes. While getting the win was huge, Columbus can also hang their hat on consecutive defensive performances that have been above average as far as the team is concerned this season.
The Blue Jackets desperately needed a win in front of their home crowd. On Saturday night they’ll play their fourth consecutive game at home. Their opponent will be the Anaheim Ducks, who will head into Nationwide Arena with an 8-2-0 record in their last ten contests.