Columbus Blue Jackets complete comeback to beat Wild in overtime

ST. PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 14: Alexander Wennberg #10 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck with Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild defending during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on October 14, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 14: Alexander Wennberg #10 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck with Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild defending during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on October 14, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Going on the road on the second half of a back-to-back is never easy, and neither is going down 4-2 in that same game. But the Columbus Blue Jackets still found a way to get the victory as they spoiled the Minnesota Wild’s home opener with 5-4 win in overtime.

Despite Minnesota’s major injuries, I didn’t expect the Columbus Blue Jackets to pull out two points. The fact that it was a back-to-back alone made me hesitant to get my hopes up. And when you add in that Minnesota is a really good team, no matter how long their injury report is, it was almost a perfect recipe for a Wild win. Almost.

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1st Period – Back And Forth

Most of the opening period was owned by the All-Star goaltenders. Sergei Bobrovsky and Devan Dubnyk controlled the pace of the game until Eric Staal was able to find the net. On the fifth shot of the game for Minnesota, Staal went top shelf after zipping past the CBJ defensemen. The goal was the first one of the season that Bobrovsky let up without a major CBJ mishap happening before it.

The PA announcer wasn’t even finished announcing the goal-scorer and assisters when Zach Werenski tied the game up. Despite Werenski scoring, Alexander Wennberg was the star of the play as he absorbed a huge collision against the boards, spun around toward the net and fired a picture-perfect pass to ‘Z,’ who was patiently awaiting the puck.

The 1-1 tie carried into the first intermission.

2nd Period – MIN Tries To End It

After failing to hold the lead in the first, Minnesota really tried to break it open in the second period. Tyler Ennis was the first one to try to do it as he scored his first goal of the year on the power play after Zac Dalpe got called for holding.

The Wild tried to pile on quickly afterward as Landon Ferraro scored on one of the weirdest goals I’ve seen. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped a Zack Mitchell shot, but he really didn’t. Unbeknownst to pretty much every player on the ice for a solid second or two, the puck had actually slipped out of Bob’s squeeze and fell behind the goalie. Ferraro was the first player to notice and he tapped it in just before getting creamed by several other players.

David Savard was extremely upset after the goal due to being the one that turned the puck over right before the horn went off. He was seen breaking his stick on the bench in anger immediately afterwards.

But he made up for it. About two and a half minutes after committing the turnover, Savard scored his first goal of the year. He powered a shot toward the net from near the blue line and it was a beauty. Dubnyk stood no chance at it as the Blue Jackets pulled within one.

Savard’s goal would be the final one of the second period. The Wild entered the intermission with the lead, 3-2.

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3rd Period – Making The Comeback

Tyler Ennis proved his power play saviness again in the third period. After a Scott Harrington penalty, Ennis deflected a Mikko Koivu pass off of his skate and right past Bobrovsky. The refs reviewed the goal to see if it was a kick, but the call was confirmed.

But that’s where the Wild stopped the scoring. After putting four goals past the reigning Vezina winner, Minnesota failed to score anymore the rest of regulation. The Blue Jackets didn’t have that problem.

Cam Atkinson got the CBJ back within one with his second goal of the season. It came as a result of a giant Jack Johsnon slapshot that was saved by Dubnyk. The puck, however, rebounded right to Atkinson, who stayed near the net. Cam, as he usually does, did not hesitate in putting the puck in for a goal.

And to tie the game up, Josh Anderson scored his first of the season. David Savard again threw a great shot toward the net, but this time it was deflected by Anderson’s stick. The deflection threw off Dubnyk and allowed the CBJ to knot the game at four goals apiece.

Overtime – Wenny, Hold The Celly

The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t waste any time in 3-on-3 hockey as Alexander Wennberg scored the game-winning goal less than a minute in to overtime. In typical Wennberg fashion, he wasn’t actually looking to score. The puck bounced up into his chest off of a rebound and it just launched in to the net after Wennberg took a Jason Zucker hit.

Postgame Wrapup

It was not a pretty game. The Blue Jackets, as expected, looked sluggish and ready for a good nap, but they still somehow found a way to win.

The power play was awful as the team recorded just one shot on goal in three combined man-advantages. That’s simply just not good enough. If the CBJ want to be a contender for the Stanley Cup, they need to fix that immediately.

Faceoffs was another issue. The Blue Jackets lost 66 percent of their faceoffs, an inexcusable stat for one of the better teams in the league.

Despite the Wild not being in good shape due to all of the injuries to their forward corps, they put up a hell of a fight. Their power play looked great as they capitalized on two of their three chances. They also were just more physical than the CBJ, which should’ve proved to be a winning strategy.

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All in all, it was a bad showing by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Any road back-to-back is going to be rough, but Bobrovsky played an awful game while the penalty kill failed the team majorly. Had it not been for the playmaking of Artemi Panarin and Alexander Wennberg, this probably would’ve been a zero-point night.