On Hockey Day Minnesota, Columbus (28-17-3) went into the winter break with its second loss in as many nights, a 2-1 setback to the Minnesota Wild (24-21-3) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Game in a Paragraph
Minnesota build a 2-0 lead late in the first period on the strength of two goals in 1:29. Columbus got one back early in the second as Artemi Panarin scored a power-play goal, but that was all there was on the scoresheet for either team.
- Panarin scored his 19th goal of the year and earned his 53rd point in his 45th game. He also has six goals in the last six games.
- Sergei Bobrovsky made a number of key saves while stopping 29 of 31 shots.
After a largely quiet opening 15 minutes, Minnesota took a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals 89 seconds apart.
FIrst, Eric Staal lugged the puck out from behind the goal line and found Jordan Greenway alone in the left circle, and his one-timer got over the glove of Bobrovsky at 16:07. Then at 17:36, a scramble near the CBJ goal ended with Pontus Aberg feeding Zach Parise in a slot for a shot that got by Bobrovsky.
Columbus got one back in the early moments of the second period as Panarin scored on the power play at 3:07. Given time to work in his office in the left circle, he sniped a shot short-side over Devan Dubnyk's blocker.
Dubnyk made some big saves down the stretch of the second, including denying Cam Atkinson in front, and Bobrovsky was also huge in the period with 15 saves in the frame.
Bobrovsky continued to stand strong less than a minute into the third as Jason Zucker cut in alone, but the CBJ goalie stretched and used every inch of his right pad to make a toe save. Bobrovksy also denied Charlie Coyle and saw Victor Rask hit the post as the Wild countered the Jackets' push in the third period.
On the other end, the Jackets couldn't solve Dubnyk, despite Anthony Duclair creating a number of chances in the offensive zone. Columbus pulled Bobrovksy late but couldn't find the equalizer and ended the game with just 20 shots on goal.
By the Numbers
Minnesota is now 10-2-1 on Hockey Day Minnesota games. … Columbus has not allowed a power-play goal in the calendar year and has killed 44 of its last 47 chances after the Wild went 0-for-4. ... Minnesota is without forward Eric Fehr and defenseman Matthew Dumba. … Columbus won the first game of the season series Nov. 29 by a 4-2 score in Columbus. ... The Blue Jackets have lost two straight games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 8 and 11 (Washington, Vancouver). ... After an 11-game stretch without a power-play goal, Columbus has five such tallies in the last six games.
Columbus returned winger Duclair to the lineup, while rookie Kevin Stenlund was a healthy scratch along with defenseman Dean Kukan.
The Blue Jackets enter their winter break, a 10-day stretch without games that includes All-Star weekend. The next game will be Jan. 29, a home contest vs. Buffalo.