Columbus Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks Live Blog

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Tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets return home to Nationwide Arena to take on the San Jose Sharks in hopes of winning two games in a row and turning their recent luck around.

Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Jackets finally pulled off a win last night against the Philadelphia Flyers, which finally put an end to their horrific losing streak. Tonight they take on the San Jose Sharks and hope to build on the success they had last night.

The biggest news tonight is the return of Sergei Bobrovsky and Artem Anisimov. Bobrovsky’s presence has been missed in net lately, and having Arty back in the face-off circle will be a big boost for the Jackets.

The other new face on the ice for the Jackets is defenseman Jordan Leopold. The Jackets acquired him today from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a sixth round draft pick in 2016. Leopold will make his CBJ debut tonight in replacement of Fedor Tyutin, who is out with a lower body injury suffered in last night’s game in Philly.

What to watch for tonight: Special teams. Special teams. Special teams. The Jackets are 5th in the NHL in power play efficiency. Last night, they scored three power play goals. On the flip side, though, is the Jackets’ penalty kill. They also gave up three goals while down a man last night. They’ll have to find a way to be better on the kill, or just STAY OUT OF THE BOX.

That seems like a simple strategy, but with the way the Jackets play, staying out of the box isn’t always a possibility. They are a physical team, and that usually means taking penalties. I’m not saying they should let up, however, because when they do, things don’t tend to go well.

But the PK has to be better.

Here’s hoping it is tonight. Should be a good game, so let’s go!

With all that said, let’s get started with the live blog! Keep checking back here and refreshing the page for in-game updates and reactions throughout tonight’s game!

First Period

20:00 0-0

The puck has been dropped, it’s game time! Go Jackets!

19:50 0-0

Scott Hartnell gets the first shot on goal as he throws the puck toward Sharks netminder Anti Niemi.

19:23 0-0

The Jackets have gotten 3 shots on goal in the first 30 seconds of the game, and haven’t given up any. That’ll work!

17:29 0-0

The Sharks get their first shot on goal of the night, making it 3-1 Jackets in shots thus far. Also, Jody Shelley mentioned that the Jackets need to “stay away from the cute” and play “simple and ugly”. I agree. Trying to play a fancy, cute game isn’t the CBJ way. They play best when they fight hard and play a simple but gritty game. That’s how they need to continue to play if they want to repeat the success they found in Philly last night.

15:11 0-0

It’s wonderful having Bob back in net, but it’s even better when we don’t need him to stand on his head. The Jackets have only given up 1 shot on goal in five minutes, and racked up 5 of their own. Need to keep that up.

13:41 0-0

What was I saying about not needing Bob to stand on his head? Well he just did! The Sharks got three quick shots on net in rapid-fire succession, and Bobrovsky came up big, robbing the Sharks of a goal and keeping the game tied at 0. As Jeff Rimer said, welcome back Bob!

13:21 0-0

The Jackets have given up the last four consecutive shots on net, making the shots tied at 5 apiece. Need to get back down to the offensive zone.

12:00 0-0

Corey Tropp found a loose puck and took it into the offensive zone, but was pushed off the puck by the Sharks’ defense and couldn’t register a shot. The Sharks rebounded and added two more shots on net of their own, putting them ahead 7-5 in shots.

9:12 0-0

The Jackets’ offensive rush was interrupted by an off-sides call. Shots on net 7-6 in favor of the Sharks.

8:33 0-0

David Savard had a great chance on net, but was robbed by Niemi, tying up the shots at 7 and keeping the game tied at 0. The CBJ chant has began to ring around Nationwide, I can hear it on the TV broadcast. Credit to you 5th line! Keep it up!

5:43 CBJ GOAL! 1-0

SAVARD with the GOOOOOOAL! Savard got the pass from Adam Cracknell and sent a one-timer from the point that got past Niemi and put his team up by 1 late in the first. Assists given to Cracknell and Artem Anisimov. Great play, great way to start the game! Always nice to be the first one on the board. (Side note: that marks Anisimov’s 170th career point.)

1:08 1-0

The Sharks got a great shot on goal, making the shots 11-8, but were robbed by Bob again. He looks alert and great in net; it sure is good to have him back!

0:20.4 1-0

The Jackets will get the first power play of the night, as Brent Burns was called for tripping James Wisniewski. JACKETS…. ON… THE…. POWERPLAAAAAAY!

0:00 1-0

The Jackets will have to get the last 1:40 of their power play in the second period, as they close the first out ahead by one.

END OF FIRST PERIOD: Columbus Blue Jackets 1, San Jose Sharks 0

First Period Thoughts: The Jackets stayed out of the box, and it worked! Not giving up a penalty meant no power play chances for San Jose, which was good to see. The Jackets’ power play unit only got 20 seconds of their own time, so we’ll have to wait till the start of the second to see what they can do with the man advantage tonight.

Overall, I liked the speed of the game tonight. Being the second of a back-to-back for the Jackets, they don’t look tired, slow, or sloppy, which is great. They have kept pace with, if not exceeded the Sharks, which was a concern going into the game. Given that the Sharks were already in Columbus when the Jackets returned from Philly last night, it would be easy to use fatigue as an excuse for a lack of speed and effort tonight, but the Jackets haven’t done that. Hopefully they can sustain that level of play all night.

Man it’s good to have Bob back! How many times can I say that in one post? But really, he’s been fantastic tonight. He’s come up with some big saves and elicited cheers around the arena. Not only has he kept his team in the game, but he’s they one the fans are watching tonight. He’s the one that will either get them excited or let them down, and so far he’s done the former. Keeping pucks out of the net is his first job, but he’s also really good at bringing the crowd into the game, which is a big factor for a team who’s fans have been a bit demoralized by the recent losing streak.

Overall, it was a decent period for the Jackets. They played a fast-paced, lively game, created great chances, and came out with a one-goal lead. That’s what we like to see!

The start of the second period will bring the first real look at the CBJ power play tonight, so stay tuned and check out page 2 for second period updates!