Ryan Johansen celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) during the third period. Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Johansen Pulls The Jackets To A Win In Montreal

Mar 20, 2014; Derek Mackenzie celebrates with Mark Letestu. Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

What a game! The Jackets and the Canadiens were playing a physical, high-speed game right from the get-go tonight, but the Jackets were finally able to pull off a win late in the third period. Here’s how it went down:

The Canadiens got on the board first in tonight’s game, with a goal off the stick of Brendan Gallagher fifteen minutes into the game. Then, the Jackets took a penalty, allowing Montreal to go on the Power Play. Exactly one minute after the goal from Gallagher, however, the Jackets responded with  a short-handed goal from Derek MacKenzie. The first period was a fast and physical one, with Ryan Johansen taking two penalties and then getting in his first ever NHL fight. The first ended in a 1-1 tie.

In the second period, things seemed a bit more calm, and the Jackets played the kind of hockey we like to see. The Jackets got their first lead of the game seven minutes into the second period with a goal coming from Brandon Dubinsky, with Blake Comeau and Jack Johnson drawing the assists. Sergei Bobrovsky and the Jackets held the Canadiens off in the second period, and it ended in a one-goal lead for Columbus.

Last but certainly not least, the third period. The third highlighted the problem the Jackets had all evening: the Power Play. The Jackets came into tonight’s game going 0 for their last 18 PP opportunities, and unfortunately were not able to turn anything around tonight. They had seven Power Plays, one being four minutes for a high-stick, and even a few five-on-three chances. But they couldn’t convert. It was disappointing to say the least. They now come out of Montreal tonight going 0 for their last 25 Power Plays. Definitely something to work on if they want to make and compete in the Playoffs.

Anyway, the scoring. The Power Play misses made the Jackets’chances of scoring look bleak at best. Then, a little less than eight minutes into the third, they gave up a goal. Thomas Vanek tied things up for the Canadiens at 7:46, and Jackets fans began to dread another overtime or shootout. However, as the title suggests, a hero emerged. Ryan Johansen had been playing great all night, and pulled off an amazing effort with 3 minutes left in the game to put the Jackets over the Canadiens by the score of 3-2, and it held.

The Jackets narrowly avoided another overtime and captured two critical points in Montreal tonight. It was a fast, physical, and certainly entertaining game, and a satisfying two points. However, the Jackets can’t rest easy. They are still tied with the New York Rangers, and face them tomorrow night at Nationwide Arena.  That game will hold two even more important points for the Jackets, so they need to rest up and prepare to battle at home tomorrow night.

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