Columbus Blue Jackets Trap Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 2: Josh Anderson #77 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates his second goal of the game with teammates during the first period against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on November 2, 2017 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 2: Josh Anderson #77 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates his second goal of the game with teammates during the first period against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on November 2, 2017 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Columbus Blue Jackets play with intensity through most of the game and finish with a crushing win over the Florida Panthers.

The Columbus Blue Jackets played true to their nature to start this game.  The first 10 minutes for the Jackets were abysmal. The Florida Panthers came out ready to play and it showed.

First Period: Slow Start, Great Finish

The Panthers scored first just before the 5-minute mark after a Vincent Trocheck shot that bounced off of Sergei BobrovskyMark Pysyk scored an easy rebound.

The Jackets first powerplay started shortly after and was absolutely underwhelming.  The first line was never able to get set up in the zone.  The second line was almost equally as awful but they were able to get one shot on net.

Related Story: Columbus Blue Jackets Power Play Problems

Finally, the Jackets got going when Josh Anderson scored his first of the night at 11:32. Anderson went top shelf on James Reimer after receiving a fantastic centering pass from Brandon Dubinsky.  Blue Jackets rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois provided the second assist, his first assist of the season.

Just shy of five minutes later, Anderson buried his second of the night. Markus Nutivaara set him up perfectly with a pass from the right corner and Anderson scored from the right circle.  Boone Jenner provided the secondary assist from Nutivaara’s spot on the blue line.

Second Period: Bjork! Bjork!

Florida was ready to play again in the second period. Ian McCoshen took a slapshot from the Blue Line after a Trocheck shot that went wide and landed on the stick of Radim Vrbata. A quick pass was all that McCoshen needed to bury the goal at 0:35.

After battling back and forth for the next few minutes, Matt Calvert passed the puck to David Savard from behind the net. Savard attempted a shot from the blue line, but the Panthers blocked the puck.  Markus Hannikainen grabbed the puck and took advantage with a backhand for his first goal of the season.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

About two minutes later, the Blue Jackets received their second power play of the night after McCoshen got caught hooking Jenner. The Blue Jackets appeared to blow another power play as Trocheck scored a short-handed goal on a whiffed shot alone against Bobrovsky. The first line looked out of sorts again.

The shorthanded goal seemed to finally push the Jackets over the edge. With the second powerplay unit on the ice, Sonny Milano made a great backward pass with a defender draped over him. Seth Jones immediately found a streaking Oliver Bjorkstrand cross-ice near the top of the right circle.  Bjorkstrand buried the puck top-shelf over Reimer. The Columbus Blue Jackets finally scored another powerplay goal!

Bjorkstrand wasn’t finished yet, as defenseman Zach Werenski found Bjorkstrand below the goal line. Bjorkstrand skated around a hit and found open ice near the center.  Bjork snapped the puck behind Florida’s new goalie Antti Niemi.

The second period ended with tempers flaring, as the Panthers were making a push for the net. A few players from each team found themselves in a pile in front of Bobrovsky. Dubinsky took exception to this and crosschecked Jonathan Huberdeau. Keith Yandle became furious about the crosscheck and let Dubi hear about it.

At one point, it appeared Yandle raked the eyes of Dubi.  Dubi marched to the locker room and never emerged. However, after the game, head coach John Tortorella said Dubi was fine. Keep an eye – pun intended – on this situation.

Third Period: Columbus Blue Jackets Take Control

With the game now in hand by a score of 5-3, the Blue Jackets continued their push. On a fast rush up ice, Jenner was attacking the middle of the ice but lost the puck to a Panthers’ defenseman. Tyler Motte found the puck on his stick and quickly shoot at Niemi. Niemi didn’t get across the pipes fast enough and Motte scored his second goal in his second game as a Blue Jacket. Nutivaara got his fifth assist of the season by finding Jenner near the defensive blue line.

Yandle’s second penalty of the night gave the Jackets another power play opportunity at 5:13. The top line moved the puck around until Artemi Panarin fired a slapshot near the blueline. Jenner tipped the shot behind Niemi for the final goal of the game.

Next: Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers Preview

Postgame Notes

The Columbus Blue Jackets move to 9-4-0 (18 points) on the season, now in a three-way tie for first in the Metropolitan with New Jersey and Pittsburgh.

The Jackets scored two powerplay goals in tonight’s game. That is a good start, but we need to continue to see improvement from the powerplay. Both lines were inconsistent.

  • Motte has proven to be a great asset in Cam Atkinson’s absence, so unless Motte begins to regress, you have to think he will stay in Columbus once Cam returns to the lineup.
  • Bobrovsky looked off early in the game tonight. We cannot expect Bob to play great in every game, but thankfully we didn’t need his best tonight.

    97. 7. 113. Final. 3

    The Columbus Blue Jackets finish their annual Florida trip Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Jackets should come out hungry for revenge after losing to the Lightning at home earlier this season.