What started out as a bit of a slow game picked up in a hurry, especially in the third period. By the time the dust settled, the Blue Jackets skated out of Vancouver with a 4-3 win in overtime.
With the win, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella became the 24th coach in league history and the first American-born coach to win his 500th game. The Blue Jackets also extended their winning streak to nine games, tying their franchise record. They also have points in 11 straight games, going 10-0-1 in that stretch. The Blue Jackets now sit at 20-5-4 on the season, including 10-2-3 on the road.
Well if you arrived late for this one, you might have missed the first period. It was over before you could blink. There were very few whistles. Both sides played a structured approach and didn’t give up much in the way of room. Both teams did have a great scoring chance.
On a partial two-on-one break, Henrik Sedin appeared to have a wide open net to shoot at, only to push the shot wide of the goal. Then the Blue Jackets third line of Matt Calvert, William Karlsson and Josh Anderson generated some sustained time in the Canucks zone. Calvert wins the race to a loose puck and centers for Karlsson. Ryan Miller flashed the right pad and made the biggest save of the period to keep the game scoreless.
There were just nine shots on goal between the two teams, with the Blue Jackets holding a 6-3 edge. Although there wasn’t anything to write home about offensively, both defenses played well in the period. Shot attempts were just 13-12 Blue Jackets after the first. Time and space were hard to come by primarily because there was no room to move in the neutral zone. The teams didn’t want to make the first big mistake.
We finally saw the special teams come into play. Just 35 seconds into the period, Luca Sbisa interferes with Nick Foligno. Then 35 seconds later, Cam Atkinson opens the scoring. Zach Werenski finds a way to get his shot on net. Ryan Miller couldn’t control the rebound. The puck went straight to Atkinson who buried his 12th of the season. That goal gave Atkinson a six-game point streak.
Then at 11:48 of the second, Sbisa takes another penalty. This time, he slashes Karlsson. The Blue Jackets made them pay again. Scott Hartnell on his backhand gets the puck to a wide open Brandon Saad who had a wide open net t0 shoot at. It made the score 2-0.
The Blue Jackets score on both of their power plays. The Canucks did not score on their’s. However, Ryan Murray tripped Loui Eriksson with just eight seconds left in the period. Vancouver started the third period with 1:52 of power play time.
These teams saved the best for the end. The Blue Jackets killed the carryover penalty, but took another one right after it ended. Murray again found himself in the box. The Canucks took advantage, as Brandon Sutter got Vancouver on the board just 2:51 into the third.
About five minutes later, the Canucks tie it on a fortunate bounce. Daniel Sedin tried to center the puck. The puck hits Jack Johnson’s skate and goes into the net. The Blue Jackets were on the short end of the puck luck this time, something that hasn’t been said too often this season.
This game seemed destined for overtime tied at two. That was until Saad scored his second of the game off a great centering pass by Wennberg. It was 3-2 with just 4:39 left. Then with the goaltender pulled, Jannik Hansen ties the game at three. Again, puck luck made its presence known. Hansen streaked right down the middle and ripped a shot that deflected off Murray and over Bobrovsky’s glove. We got overtime, but the score was 3-3.
It took just 46 seconds of overtime to decide the winner. After the Canucks hit the crossbar on one end, the Blue Jackets get a two-on-one at the other end. Atkinson feeds Seth Jones, who beats Ryan Miller. The Blue Jackets win 4-3 and sweep the Western Canada trip for just the second time in franchise history.
CBJ – Cam Atkinson (12) assisted by Zach Werenski and Alexander Wennberg
CBJ – Brandon Saad (10) assisted by Scott Hartnell and Brandon Dubinsky
VAN – Brandon Sutter (9) assisted by Sven Bartschi and Troy Stecher
VAN – Daniel Sedin (10) assisted by Henrik Sedin
CBJ – Brandon Saad (11) assisted by Alexander Wennberg and Nick Foligno
VAN – Jannik Hansen (3) assisted by Troy Stecher and Bo Horvat
CBJ – Seth Jones (5) – assisted by Cam Atkinson
THW Three Stars
First: Brandon Saad (2 goals)
Second: Seth Jones (game-winning goal)
Third: Alexander Wennberg (2 assists)
Los Angeles Kings at Columbus Blue Jackets
Nationwide Arena, 7:00 PM EST on Tuesday, Dec. 20
TV Broadcast Channels: Fox Sports Ohio/Fox Sports Go and Fox Sports West
2016-17 Meeting: Kings won 3-2 in overtime on October 25th