Columbus Blue Jackets Rally to Defeat Sharks


5. 113. Final. 4. 120

The four-game road trip got off to a bumpy start in Ottawa on Saturday, and then the Jackets had four straight days off to rest and practice. That’s a good thing, right?

Going into last night’s game, it seemed like a good thing. The Sharks had been traveling all over the east for the past week, so the Jackets should have come out with a lot more energy in the first period. Disappointingly, that’s not how it happened.

The first period was a wreck for the Jackets. They certainly looked like they had a leg-up in speed on the Sharks, but they also looked sloppy. They looked like a team that hadn’t played in four days: fast and energetic, but sloppy and not precise. Long story short, they found themselves down 2-1 after 20 minutes of play.

But the two goal lead is the worst lead in hockey, right? It certainly seemed like that for the Sharks after the second period. Ryan Johansen was the first Jacket to get on the board, followed by a nice shorty from Mark Letestu to make it a tie game. If you haven’t seen Johansen’s goal, you’re going to want to watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again, it was simply beautiful. Here ya go:

Johansen’s magic didn’t stop there. He scored again, putting the Jackets up 3-2 in the second. Late in the period, he found the back of the net again, but the goal was waved off due to a (VERY) controversial (and potentially questionable) goaltender interference call on Nick Foligno. Coach Richards didn’t think it was a good call, either: “When I came in to look at it, I was seeing something completely different. Our guy was off to the side,” he told USA Today.

“When I came in to look at it, I was seeing something completely different. Our guy was off to the side.”

No hat trick for Joey.

After taking the lead 3-2 in the second, the third period didn’t start out as planned. The Jackets gave up two goals in the first half of the third, finding themselves behind again 4-3. But they didn’t stop there. There was a scramble in front of the net, and in a mixture of soccer and hockey, Scott Hartnell managed to kick a loose puck over to Nick Foligno who wasted no time burying it in the back of the net.

Tie game, 4-4. In typical CBJ dramatic fashion, the Jackets kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, keeping the game tied until the final minute of play. With 20.7 seconds to go, Mark Letestu netted his second of the night, and the Jackets took the game 5-4.

More from Union and Blue

It doesn’t get much better than that! It was certainly a dramatic win, and also one that took the Jackets from sixth place in the Metropolitan Division to second, just two points behind the New York Islanders in one less game. It was an exciting victory, but it doesn’t end there . The Jackets head now to Anaheim, where they will face the Ducks at 10:00 EST tonight. It’ll be another big challenge for this young team, and another game where the Jackets could grab two big points early in the season.

Next: Pregame: Jackets Visit Ducks