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Aftermath No. 11: Anaheim

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

This game was *right there* for the Blue Jackets and they gave themselves a golden opportunity to capture two points from the Anaheim Ducks. 

Unfortunately, they could not keep Corey Perry in check the entire game (and really, how often does that happen?) and he made them pay with a dagger late in the third period.

The Blue Jackets, who mostly withstood a five-minute penalty kill and surrendered one goal to Emerson Etem, were very much in the game after the PK and even more so after Anisimov drew them level with his second goal of the night.

Was it a bad break? Absolutely, but the Blue Jackets were guilty of a few mistakes with the puck tonight and one of them ended up costing them dearly. The puck took a wicked carrom off the end boards on a play that was intended to go back to the Columbus defense, and Perry was lurking in the slot for any loose change.

His 10th goal of the season came with 2:25 left in the third period and it definitely fit the "goal scorer's goal" category, right under the bar after some impressive patience in the scoring area.

But the Blue Jackets got another chance - their first power play of the game came with 1:27 to play. With Bobrovsky on the bench for an extra attacker, they had a couple looks around the net but couldn't find the handle.

The 4-3 loss snapped their three-game winning streak but it was a rather successful 3-1-0 home stand in response to a four-game winless skid. 

Let's talk more about tonight's game...

- Dubinsky's ejection created a huge void for the Jackets, who were already down a center (MacKenzie) and missing another forward (Jenner) before the game even began. Credit to them for battling back against a very strong Ducks squad; Columbus won 57 percent of the face-offs tonight against Anaheim.

- That's now shorthanded goals in back-to-back games for the Blue Jackets; the last time they did that was back in 2010 (Oct. 15 and 16).

- In his NHL debut, Michael Chaput played 7:48 and was a -1. He was credited with one shot and won 2-of-5 face-offs.

- With an assist on Anisimov's second goal, Wisniewski has recorded at least a point in every Jackets home game (1-7-8 total). 

- Prior to leaving the game, Dubinsky had been playing very well for the Blue Jackets and made a great play on Anisimov's shorthanded tally. He pressured Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen up high, forced a turnover and started a break on his own. With Anisimov flying up-ice, Dubinsky hit him with a lead pass and Anisimov broke free and buried his third goal of the year past Frederik Andersen.

- Speaking of Anisimov, a big-time performance from him tonight: two goals, 20:30 TOI, 9-of-18 (50 percent) in the face-off circle, a game-high five shots on goal and a much-needed presence in the middle of the ice with Dubinsky absent.

- Another quiet-but-efficient night at the office for rookie defenseman Ryan Murray. He logged just over 18 minutes against the Ducks, was a +1 and saw ice time in all situations for the Blue Jackets.

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