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Aftermath: Victory in Vancouver

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

Have you heard enough about Marko Dano yet?

No? Good. Because we’re going to talk a little more about the young man as we recap another Blue Jackets victory, a 6-2 win on Thursday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. That’s back-to-back wins to open the western Canada trip, five straight road wins overall for Columbus and an opportunity to sweep the trip on Saturday in Calgary.

Remember when the Jackets were down 2-0 in the game? It was a thing, but it didn’t last long. Vancouver goals from Bo Horvat and Daniel Sedin were answered by six (!) tallies from the visitors, who chased Eddie Lack from the net midway through the third period and cruised to the finish line.

Here’s a closer look at how it all went down:

Ok, so the first period wasn’t all that glamorous for the Blue Jackets. They gave up 19 shots in the first 14 minutes, and at times, they struggled to get the puck out of their own zone as the Canucks just kept coming. Getting any sort of sustained offensive zone pressure was a challenge and the chances were few and far between, and given the shot total for Vancouver, one might surmise that the Jackets came out of the period in a big hole.

Thanks to Sergei Bobrovsky, that was not the case.

He was sensational between the pipes, finishing with 38 saves — 20 of those in the first period alone. As we said, it was far from an ideal start for the Blue Jackets but they got better as the game went on, almost as if to repay their goaltender for a terrific performance earlier in the game.

And without that clean sheet in the first period, the outcome may have been different. The Blue Jackets fell behind early in the second but bounced back quickly, and Bobrovsky didn’t give up anything else the rest of the way.

Ho hum, Marko Dano scored again.

But seriously, this has been mighty impressive to watch. The kid keeps on going, and tonight, he registered his first career two-goal game and nearly completed the hat trick in the third period — but an unselfish play to line mate Scott Hartnell on an odd-man rush gave the Blue Jackets a 5-2 lead.

Give Dano three goals and six points in his last five games, but let’s not forget his line mates; Alexander Wennberg has been playing his best hockey of the season and looks comfortable and confident in the middle of the ice.

Dano’s first goal against the Canucks was a big one, tying the game at 2-2 in the second period after capitalizing on a three-way passing play between himself, Artem Anisimov and Nick Foligno. Foligno shook off Kevin Bieksa with his signature start-and-stop move, then Anisimov fed Dano on the door step for a quick shot through the pads of Eddie Lack.

The second was the back breaker, according to Canucks coach Willie Desjardins. Dano picked off a Canucks pass out of the zone, kept the shift alive, and hit Wennberg with a pass in the left circle. Wennberg’s shot cracked the high glass but the rebound fell to Dano at the side of the net, and a quick bank shot was successful, giving the Jackets a two-goal lead.

Hartnell continued on his hot streak, as well, giving him six goals in six games; with his goal in Vancouver, Hartnell hit the 50-point plateau for the fourth time in his career and second straight.

In 78 games with the Flyers last season, Hartnell had 20 goals and 52 points. In 66 games with the Blue Jackets, he’s got 22 goals and 50 points and still has 11 games left in 2014-15.

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