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Labatt Blue What We Learned: CBJ 1, CGY 0 (OT)

Anderson goes top shelf halfway through overtime for Jackets win

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. - It took all night for a cannon blast to follow a Blue Jackets' goal, but it happened in overtime courtesy of Josh Anderson.

It also gave Columbus a 1-0 win against the Calgary Flames, a season-high fifth straight for the Jackets, and Sergei Bobrovsky got his third shutout of the season -- second in a row at Nationwide Arena. Anderson's goal, scored at 2:02 of OT off a pass from Nick Foligno, put an end to a game dominated by goaltending.

Bobrovsky made 22 saves for Columbus (14-7-10) while Calgary's Mike Smith stopped 40 of 41 shots.

Video: CGY@CBJ: Foligno sets up Anderson for overtime winner

The 14 wins is tied with the Blue Jackets' 2010-11 season for most in franchise history after 22 games, while 29 points is second-most in franchise history, one less than last season's 30 with a 13-5-4 record.

"We played good tonight," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "The way we played tonight, we deserved to win. Had some chances. [Smith] was good, so we played a really good hockey game tonight."

The victory in overtime extended the Blue Jackets' success beyond regulation this season. They're 7-0-1 in games that finish in overtime or shootouts, which is a big reason they hold the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

"I think we're just confident [in overtime], first of all in our conditioning, so we never feel tired," Foligno said. "Our overtime right now, we're confident because we work hard on it, and we've gotten some bounces to win games."

They got a great one in this OT, when Calgary defenseman TJ Brodie lost the puck behind the Flames' net and watched Foligno send it to Anderson for the game-winner. It was Anderson's team-high eighth goal of the season, and Foligno's assist ended a 12-game pointless stretch for him, which was tied for the longest of his career.

Otherwise, the goalies dominated.

Smith had nearly double the workload, but Bobrovsky came up with some difficult stops too. This was his second shutout in the past three games, second in a row on home ice and he's now tied for the NHL lead in shutouts with Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen and the Minnesota Wild's Devan Dubnyk.

Bobrovsky has started all five games during the win streak, and has a 0.80 goals-against average and .974 save percentage during the run.

Here's how the rest of it went down:

First Twenty

Goals: CGY - None; CBJ - None

Shots:  Blue Jackets 14, Flames 10

Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 51% (25-24), Flames 49% (24-25)

Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 10, Flames 10

High-Danger chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 3, Flames 3

2:55 - It always happens, right? Block a shot, feel the sting and before the pain subsides, you're off on a breakaway. Happened exactly that way to Oliver Bjorkstrand. After blocking a shot from the left point, Bjorkstrand hung around the top of the defensive zone as the puck worked its way around the boards. Sonny Milano got it, and sent it to him streaking through the neutral zone for a breakaway.

He skated at high speed toward the Calgary net for a wrist shot, but Mike Smith saved it with his blocker.

3:57 - There was a big collision in the neutral zone, a really nice hit that sent both players to the ice. They were teammates, though, on the Flames - and one of them was 45-year old forward Jaromir Jagr. He and Sam Bennett didn't see one another, slammed into each other and each dropped. Jagr initially appeared shaken up, but he's Jaromir Jagr, who is a freak of nature and still playing good NHL hockey five years from his 50th birthday.

7:32 - Sergei Bobrovsky is so good with his stick, whether he's throwing it down to get more wingspan on a lunging blocker save in Montreal or using it here to poke away a rebound after making an initial save against Dougie Hamilton's wrister from the slot. Great instincts kept the Flames from scoring off a 3-on-2 that followed a Blue Jackets' turnover in the neutral zone.

8:17 - Bobrovsky made 10 saves in the first period, but the Flames took 24 shot attempts and had the majority of attempts in the first 15 minutes. Eight were blocked by Columbus, including this one by defenseman Ryan Murray - who got in front of a wrist shot by Travis Hamonic from the right face-off circle. One less puck Bobrovsky had to stop.

12:18 - Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski found himself in a position nobody wants to be. After Seth Jones missed a shot, the puck caromed around the boards and came out just right for the Flames' top line to get a 3-on-1 against Werenski. They completed a perfectly executed Tic-Tac-Toe play to Gaudreau on the back side of the net, but the puck went wide of the left post. Close call for Columbus.

17:36 - Hamonic returned the favor. Dubois got a nice feed for a one-timer, but Hamonic got in front of it before it got to Smith, keeping the game 0-0.

Second Twenty

Goals: CGY - None; CBJ - None

Shots: Blue Jackets 12, Flames 3

Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Flames 58.3% (14-10), Blue Jackets 41.7% (10-14)

Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 4, Flames 4

High-Danger chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 2, Flames 0

The rundown:

1:19 - Panarin's hard work drew the game's first penalty, which was called on Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano for tripping. The Blue Jackets had another tough time on their first power play, struggling to even get set up in the offensive zone. They failed to get a shot attempt, let alone a shot on goal.

4:46 - Bjorkstrand got to a loose puck just outside the Calgary blue line, carried it into the offensive zone and got two shots on goal - one from a sharp angle to the right side of the net and another from the left face-off circle, after collecting the puck behind the net and skating it out. Smith stopped both.

5:39 - Giordano again tripped somebody and got caught. This time, it was Seth Jones who drew the penalty. Columbus managed the puck better during this power play, but still didn't score. The Jackets put two shots on goal, though, which was progress. On the downside, Foligno was called for hooking, which negated the final 17 seconds of the power play and gave the Flames their first man-advantage.

7:22 - Foligno's penaty was a tight call, and put the Flames' dangerous power play on the ice. It also put one of the best penalty-kill units on the ice, and Calgary didn't get a shot or attempt. It was the Jackets' 14th straight successful penalty kill since allowing three power-play goals in the third period of a 5-3 loss at the New York Rangers on Nov. 6.

10:42 - Werenski, playing his 100th career NHL game, got two good scoring chances here. The first required Smith's best work of the evening to that point. The Blue Jackets' defenseman lined up in the right face-off circle, waited for a feed, got one and sent it to the net with a half-slapper through traffic. Smith read it, slid over and made the save. During the same shift, 16 seconds later, Werenski got another shot from the low slot with 9:02 left. Smith got that one too.

17:05 - The Flames had more 5-on-5 shot attempts (14-10), but only got three on net. The Blue Jackets outshot them 12-3 in the period, but one of the three was a great scoring opportunity with 2:55 left. Jagr made a slick play below the goal line to pick the puck from Werenski, then sent a quick feed to Kris Versteeg for a snap shot from the right-faceoff circle. Bobrovsky turned it aside.

Video: CGY@CBJ: Bobrovsky fights off Versteeg's one-timer

Final Twenty

Goals: CGY - None; CBJ - None

Shots:  Blue Jackets 13, Flames 8

Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 64% (25-14), Flames 36% (14-25),

Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 9, Flames 7

High-Danger chances 5v5: Flames 3, Blue Jackets 2

 

Overall Corsi: Blue Jackets 54% (60-51), Flames 46% (51-60)

Overall 5v5 Scoring chances: Blue Jackets 23, Flames 20

Overall High-Danger chances: Blue Jackets 7, Flames 5

The rundown:

1:54 - We're starting to see the patented Artemi Panarin one-timer from the left circle more often, which could be one telltale sign he's starting to feel more comfortable within the Blue Jackets' system. Smith made a great glove save to stop this one, but it was close.

Josh Anderson forced a turnover, took the puck into the Flames' zone and sent nice little feed to the left circle. Panarin dipped to a knee and rifled the puck to the net. Smith just snagged it.

QUOTE: "I think we're just getting more comfortable together. I remember at the start, we were a little iffy there and didn't know where each other were, but we keep getting comfortable, and I think you saw it tonight, where we had a lot of scoring opportunities. The more we play together, the more comfortable we feel." - Anderson on his line, which also has Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois on it.

4:35 - The Flames had something brewing in the Jackets' zone, after a long shot from the left point was blocked in front of Bobrovsky. The puck bounced into the slot and sat there for a second, as the Flames charged after it. Foligno just got his stick on it with a diving effort to swat it out of harm's way and clear the zone. Nice play by the captain.

7:13 - Not to be outdone, Bobrovsky rose up big to keep the game scoreless. Mikael Backlund got a pass from Michael Frolik that sprung him for an attempt off a solo rush, but didn't get much on it. Bobrovsky got his right pad down in time to stop it, and made a save against Hamilton's shot off the rebound. The second stop might've been better than the first. Either way, still 0-0.

12:46 - This was just craziness. It started with a great play by Pierre-Luc Dubois off a turnover in the neutral zone. The rookie center made a nifty move to carry the puck into the Flames' zone, passed it off, got it back and quickly sent a feed cross ice to the left post for Anderson. His attempt to swat it home off the fly was denied by Smith, who slid over and cut off the angle at the post.

That's when it got a little nuts. Smith lost his stick on the first save, dove back the other way on his stomach and was out of position. The net was wide open, the puck was loose and Anderson's eyes were as big as pumpkin pies. Before he could put the puck in the net, however, Flames defenseman Michael Stone blocked his shot with his stick. Stone then used his stick to stuff the puck under Smith to freeze it.

QUOTE: "I knew [Smith] dove across the crease, so I was like, 'I have an open net, I have time to stop it.' I had no idea [Stone] turned around and was right there. He got all of my stick, so it just went across the crease and back to [Smith]."

19:41 - Bobrovsky's turn. He faced about half as many shots as Smith, but the Flames got some quality chances - including this one. Matthew Tkachuk made a strong rush toward the net with time running out in regulation and managed to lift a quick wrist shot from close range while being checked. Bobrovsky stopped it, and then made a save against Frolik off the rebound.

QUOTE: "I thought it was a hard game for 'Bob,' because he didn't have much action. And he's watching the other goalie make save after save, so I thought 'Bob' stood in there, and then made a really good save at the end of the third period." -Tortorella

Another Five


Goals:  CBJ - Josh Anderson (Nick Foligno), 2:02; CGY - None

Shots:  Blue Jackets 2, Flames 2

Overall shots: Blue Jackets 41, Flames 22

The rundown:

0:35 - The last trio you want to face in 3-on-3 overtime belongs to the Flames, who had 2/3rds of their top line on the ice to start out: Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Gaudreau had an NHL career-high 10-game point streak coming into the game, and nearly extended it less than a minute into OT.

It took Gaudreau 22 seconds to wrist one wide of the net, and 13 more seconds to get off a hard wrist shot from the slot that hit Bobrovsky up high. It was his second-to-last save. He made one more 59 seconds later against Frolik, which paved the way for Anderson's game-winner.

2:02 - GOAL - It took a mistake to get a puck by either one of these goalies, and Smith was the unlucky guy. It wasn't his error, but the puck still wound up in the net after Brodie lost control of the puck behind he Flames' net. It slid right to Foligno, who wheeled, found Anderson and watched the big Jackets' forward send it home to the far side of the net.

QUOTE: "Oh, my god, I was like, 'Thank you.' It's a weird game sometimes. You need a bounce like that. I just knew [Anderson] was over there, and I was like, 'Please put this thing in.' Not even for me, but for the team. We battled. It's [41 shots] and [Smith] was playing really well. It was just nice to see." - Foligno on Anderson's game-winner.

QUOTE: "No hesitation there. I was screaming at the top of my lungs for [Foligno], that I really wanted it and just steal the game. I just saw the opening on the high glove, so I just tried to put it in place and it went in." - Anderson on his game-winning goal.

UP NEXT

(All times ET)

Flames: At the Dallas Stars on Friday (9 p.m., TV: SNF, SNW, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Ottawa Senators on Friday (7 p.m., FS-O, Fox Sports Go; Radio: CD102.5 FM, BlueJackets.com, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV)

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