Knowing that the team controlled their own destiny had to have been very comforting for the Jackets. Unlike last year finishing with one of the best records in the 2nd half of the year and still missing out on the post season. This year pretty much the whole season the Columbus Blue Jackets have controlled their own playoff destiny.
With the unfortunate events with Rich Peverley, this game was a bit odd at the start. Nathan Horton became the first ever player in the NHL to score a goal in a game he didn’t play. Also the game started with the full 60 minutes of game time to be played, yet the Jackets started with a one goal lead. This by far will be one of the most memorable playoff clinching games I have ever seen, in any sport.
As I said Nathan Horton was credited with a goal at the 0:00 mark in the first. Once the puck dropped it was all Columbus. The Jackets controlled all of the play early on setting up many solid chances to add to the lead early on. At the 1:33 mark Artem Anisimov added another goal bringing the lead to two goals. A turnover in the corner led to a one on one between Arty and Thomas. Then with about 6:30 left in the 2nd Mark Letestu squeaked one through Thomas’ 5 hole Johansen and Savard with the assists.
At the start of the 3rd period the Stars had a full two minute powerplay, James Wisniewski was called for interference. The
Stars came out on fire, backing the Jackets into the corner and controlling the game. Until the 8th minute of the period, when Lindy Ruff decided to pull the goalie as the Stars had a power play. With the 6 on 4 advantage the Stars cut the lead to two goals. From this point on the Stars were giving every single thing they had. However the number one star of the game Sergei Bobrovsky was up to the challenge shutting the Stars down.
With the win Columbus clinched their 2nd playoff berth in franchise history. With three possible opponents being Boston, New York and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The most likely of the three would be Boston or Pittsburgh.
The Blue Jackets look to move up in the standings against the Lightning Friday night in Tampa Bay. As always you can watch the game on Fox Sports Ohio Friday night at 7PM.