Post Game: Carolina Hurricanes @ Columbus Blue Jackets


Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night the Columbus Blue Jackets played host to the Carolina Hurricanes. Columbus was coming off an exciting shootout victory in New York, and was hoping the first home game for Nathan Horton would be a good one. The Jackets received a strong performance from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was only in his second game back from being injured. Bobrovsky stole the show Friday, making save after spectacular save, which got the large crowd at Nationwide Arena on their feet. Bobrovsky looked like the goalie that won the Vezina last season, and managed to make 36 saves in a 3-0 victory.

Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, and Cam Atkinson tallied goals for the Blue Jackets.  Both Jenner and Dubinsky scored late in the first period with the goals coming a minute and ten seconds apart.  The first period had little going on in terms of scoring chances, until Nathan Horton forced a turnover from behind the net.  He force Carolina’s Brett Sutter to make and errant pass into the slot that Jenner pounced on and deposited past Anton Khudobin.  This would stand to be the game winner, as Bobrovsky was having himself a night.

Shortly after the Jenner goal, Dubinsky took a feed from Atkinson while streaking up the boards and snapped a shot that beat Khudobin high glove side.  This put all of the momentum on the side of the Blue Jackets going into the locker room after the first.

The second period has been a big time problem for Columbus this season, and Friday night was no different.  The ice was definitely tilted on the side of Carolina, as they out shot the Blue Jackets 16-8 in the middle frame, but Bobrovsky was having none of that.  He kept the CBJ in the game and managed to keep the Hurricanes off the board despite plenty of chances.

In the third period the first penalty of the game came at 2:17 as Tuomo Ruutu was whistled for a double minor for high-sticking RJ Umberger.  Columbus couldn’t seem to get its act together until late in the powerplay.  Atkinson took a Mark Letestu pass and wristed it past Khudobin.  It was Atkinson’s second point of the night, and he himself had a solid game.

\ Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The shining moment for Bobrovsky came later in the third period when Nikita Nikitin was whistled for interference, and then less than a minute later Artem Anisimov fired the puck over the glass for a delay of game call.  Carolina had 2 chances on the 5 on 3 that stood out.  The first came when Elias Endstrom was sitting on the back door and Bobrovsky flew across the goal mouth and robbed him of a wide open goal, putting the 16,008 in attendance on their feet.  The second came when Zach Boychuk fired a bomb that Bobrovsky snatched out the of air with a spectacular glove save.  That put the crowd into a frenzy.  Chants of “Bob! Bob! Bob!” echoed throughout the arena.  It was reminiscent of the goaltender of last season that stole the hearts of the city, and eventually stole the Vezina Trophy.

It was a very exciting win for the Blue Jackets, and it was a big one against a division rival.  Carolina was streaking themselves, coming off 5 straight wins.  Hopefully this is the Bobrovsky that the Jackets get night after night, because this is a crucial moment in which wins will be at a premium.  Up next is the Winninpeg Jets at 7pm Saturday night in Winnipeg.