The Columbus Blue Jackets, powered by a penalty shot, hold on to defeat Metropolitan Division Rivals New Jersey Devils 2-1.
In a low scoring affair, the Columbus Blue Jackets come away with 2 points in their 3rd straight defensive minded contest. A stark change from games earlier in the season, the Jackets have found their stride on the backend, only giving up two or less goals the last four games.
Captain Nick Foligno buried the first goal for Columbus with a rebound goal of the Devils net minder Mackenzie Blackwood while crashing hard to the crease. Nick Foligno’s 9th of the season gave the Jackets a 1-0, which seems to be a theme with this team scoring the first goal. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Seth Jones came away with the assists.
In the second period, Cam Atkinson sprung to a breakaway, in which he got dragged down on, thus awarding a penalty shot. A rare sight in recent years, penalty shots have been few and far between in today’s NHL. Atkinson made the most of it by scoring his 20th of the season by power driving the puck through the Mackenzie Blackwood for a 2-0 Jackets lead.
Midway through the 2nd period the Devils would get one back as Taylor Hall, the NHL’s reigning Hart Trophy winner for Most Valuable Player, also buried his breakaway opportunity cutting the Jackets lead to 2-1.
The Jackets would hold on in the third period with solid saves from Sergei Bobrovsky, giving the Jackets a solid win versus a tough, divisional opponent. This game keeps the Columbus Jackets out of reach from Pittsburgh for another day, and keeps up the pace of the Washington Capitals. The Jackets will play these Devils again on Sunday in New Jersey.