Columbus Blue Jackets End Four Game Slide With 3-1 Win In Boston


1. 70. 3. 113. Final

The Columbus Blue Jackets have snapped their four-game skid by taking the only visit to TD Garden in Boston of the year, and clinched the season series over the Boston Bruins with a 3-1 victory.

Picking up just where they left off last night, the Blue Jackets played another really good 5-on-5 night and struck first in the game, but did so on the power play, when Ryan Johansen went top-shelf on Tuukka Rask to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes.

Boston’s first strike would come just past the halfway point of the same period, when the Bruins won a faceoff in the Jackets’ zone and kept the possession their. The Bruins moved the puck from behind the net, to the wall, to the faceoff circle, right in front of the crease before finally settling on the stick of Carl Soderbergwho wristed the puck into the net before Curtis McElhinney could recover and tie the game at one.

That’d be the only scoring of the game until the 16:57 mark of the third period. From Soderberg’s goal til that time, the game was incredibly even – the Blue Jackets didn’t start off too hot in the shot department (being outshot by 10 at one point), but made up ground quickly, and played step for step with Boston all game. Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert and Jeremy Morin all had some quality scoring chances, but Rask is a top-tier goaltender and played at such, denying Morin at the doorstep twice.

Now, we’ve arrived to the 16:57 mark. Atkinson got hold of a deflected-intercepted pass off a Bruins stick, fired it at Rask and, while he stopped the shot, he also allowed a rebound to his right. There to put his stick on it was Calvert, and the puck trickled past the goal line before Rask could catch back up to it to give the Jackets a 2-1 lead.

Columbus wouldn’t relinquish the lead after that, and they’d even add an empty net goal, again off the stick of Calvert, to seal the deal.

Outside of it being the second straight game in which the Blue Jackets have played really well, there were a couple of key things that stood out. One, was the play of McElhinney, which was once again outstanding. The level of his play over the last two appearances have been phenomenal and those who follow U&B on twitter would be none too happy if I didn’t also credit Blue Jackets goaltending coach, Ian Clark, for the work he’s put in with Mac, and the results are clearly evident.

The second thing that stood out was the play of Josh AndersonYou guys were incredibly complementary of and impressed with him yesterday, and after watching him tonight, I totally get it. He was out there on the first shift of the game – the first shift, in just his second NHL game – and was none too afraid to get physical and lay his body on someone. He even blocked a shot from the hardest shot in the league in Zdeno CharaAnderson has come into the lineup without missing a beat, and once forwards start getting healthy, it’s going to be a huge problem, because you know HCTR won’t want to get rid of him.

The Jackets get a momentary rest before taking the ice again, which they’ll do Monday in Minnesota. The past two games have been gradual steps to much better play, and we’ll see where they go on Monday.