The Columbus Blue Jackets won their third game in a row in a 7-5 victory over the New York Rangers at Nationwide Arena.
Joonas Korpisalo stepped his game up in net on Thursday and Saturday in respective victories against the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals. On Sunday, it was Sergei Bobrovsky’s turn to be the starting goaltender once again. Bob’s return was a bit rocky, allowing five goals on 27 shots. Fortunately for Bobrovsky, the offense kept firing on all cylinders.
Head Coach John Tortorella had this to say afterwards:
We had the puck all night long.
Defenseman Seth Jones seemed to be on the same page with his comments:
We controlled the pace I thought through the opening draw.
We’ll never know what would’ve happened if Bob lost in his first start with the team following the disciplinary actions that were handed down to him last week.
The Jackets came out scorching with 19 shots in the first period. Artemi Panarin scored at the 5:08 mark after Dubois won a faceoff and Atkinson was able to get the puck over to him. At the 8:55 mark, Duclair showed off his speed, breaking away and beating goaltender Alexandar Georgiev for this tenth goal of the season.
The CBJ also got a goal apiece from fourth-liner Lukas Sedlak and defenseman David Savard.
To no surprise, Atkinson added his 26th goal of the season, but it was Nick Foligno’s two timely goals that allowed Columbus to breathe easy in the 7-5 affair. The Jackets held a slim one-goal lead late in the second period, until a heads-up play was made by Ryan Murray, who found Foligno on the doorstep with two seconds remaining before the intermission to put the home team up 5-3. In the third, a 6-3 deficit was cut to 6-5 until Foligno was able to stay aggressive and found a way to chop the puck past Georgiev with defenders surrounding him to secure the 7-5 win.
Despite Bob’s sub-par performance for his standards and the defense having some lapses, both Torts and Foligno described the team as playing with “energy”. It was much-needed energy, considering the team was playing their fourth game in six days.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are using Monday as a day of rest before getting back at it on Tuesday night, when they’ll host the New Jersey Devils. The Jackets will be heavily favored to win their fourth game in a row, with the Devils playing in their home building 24 hours prior to the contest against the Chicago Blackhawks. One would expect Bobrovsky to get the start, but time will tell.