What started as anybody’s game finished as a Blue Jackets rout. Cam Atkinson, Jack Johnson, and Seth Jones each tallied two points to help the Columbus Blue Jackets defeat the New York Islanders 6-2 Saturday night at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets started slow, only to gain momentum as the game went on. By the third period, Columbus flexed its muscles and showed that they were the better team on this night.
The Islanders got the early jump on the Blue Jackets. Thanks to some good puck management, the Islanders played most of the time in the first half of the period near Sergei Bobrovsky. They got the opening goal as a result, on a weird play you likely won’t see again anytime soon.
Sam Gagner got the puck along the wall on his backhand. He flipped the puck into the air towards Bobrovsky. Brock Nelson attempted to deflect the puck with a high stick. Good thing he didn’t touch it. The puck hits Bobrovsky in the midsection, and finds its way into the net. You won’t see a stranger own goal. Josh Bailey gets credit as the last Islander to touch the puck.
The Blue Jackets then shook off their slow start. After exchanging penalties with the Islanders in the middle of the period, Jack Johnson blasted a shot by Jaroslav Halak to tie the game at one. It was Johnson’s first goal in 41 games. The Islanders held a 10-7 shot advantage in the period.
The two teams started to settle into their games in the second. There wasn’t much forechecking on both sides early on. Then the Islanders had a bad line change. It led directly to the Blue Jackets taking the lead.
Jack Johnson feeds Cam Atkinson who gets a clean breakaway. Atkinson beats Halak upstairs. Nationwide Arena is jumping. However the game was tied again just over two minutes later.
Noted Blue Jacket killer John Tavares gets multiple scoring chances in front of Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky stopped the first two shots, but not the third. That made it 2-2 at 12:32.
The period finished with a strong push by the Blue Jackets. It led to a second Tavares penalty. The Blue Jackets carried over 1:59 of power-play time into the third. Columbus led on the shot clock 26-20.
The third started with essentially a full Blue Jackets power play. It went for not. But instead of the Islanders taking advantage of the kill, they kill themselves by making a game-changing turnover.
Nick Leddy doesn’t see Josh Anderson come off the bench. The puck gets intercepted by Anderson who walks in and beats Halak with a high shot. That made it 3-2 Blue Jackets. Then the dam burst.
The Blue Jackets tack on three goals in a five-minute span of the third, starting with a Brandon Saad goal, followed by Lukas Sedlak and then Seth Jones. Before you knew it, it was 6-2 Blue Jackets.
Sergei Bobrovsky did his part early to keep the game 2-2. He finished with 28 saves on 30 shots.
NYI – Josh Bailey (5) unassisted.
CBJ – Jack Johnson (1) assisted by Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky.
CBJ – Cam Atkinson (10) assisted by Jack Johnson and David Savard
NYI – John Tavares (9) assisted by Anders Lee and Travis Hamonic
CBJ – Josh Anderson (8) unassisted
CBJ – Brandon Saad (8) assisted by Oliver Bjorkstrand and Markus Nutivaara
CBJ – Lukas Sedlak (2) assisted by Seth Jones and Matt Calvert
CBJ – Seth Jones (4) assisted by William Karlsson and Scott Hartnell
THW Three Stars
First: Jack Johnson (G,A, first goal in 41 games)
Second: Cam Atkinson (G, A)
Third: Seth Jones (G, A)
Columbus Blue Jackets at Edmonton Oilers
Rogers Place, 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday, Dec. 13
Broadcast Channels: Fox Sports Ohio/Fox Sports Go and 97.1 The Fan
2016-17 Meeting: First of the season