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Labatt Blue What We Learned: The March Is On

Blue Jackets clinch playoff berth with win over the Devils

by Alison Lukan @AlisonL / BlueJackets.com

The Blue Jackets beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Sunday to earn 100 standings points and clinch their third playoff berth in franchise history.

When this season started, there were few outside of central Ohio convinced that this year would amount to much for the Blue Jackets. But this group of players, led by John Tortorella and his coaching staff, shut out the naysayers, circled the wagons, and started to march.

They marched through two initial losses to start the season, to then go 6-2-2 through their next ten games. Then the Jackets really started stringing wins together, culminating in a 16-game, franchise record setting win streak that packed Nationwide Arena to the gills, and saw the Jackets atop the NHL standings.

This team put in the work, believed in themselves, and made people take notice.

After a bye week in late February, a rejuvenated Jackets squad came back to the ice and got right back to it. In the 13 games since the team's five-day break, the Jackets have gone 10-1-2 culminating in Sunday's win over New Jersey. 

That victory over the Devils confirmed the Jackets will be playing in the post-season. 

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Video: CBJ@NJD: Sedlak beats Schneider on penalty shot

The March is On.

It was a game to be remembered for a lot of reasons in addition to the team clinching a playoff spot. Boone Jenner earned the game winner on a short-handed goal. The score came off an impressive individual effort that culminated in a weird-angle shot from the goal line, and then the winger added an empty net goal late for good measure.

Two additional goals came on penalty shots converted first by Lukas Sedlak and then Brandon Dubinsky who filled in for a shaken up Josh Anderson. That made the Jackets just the third team in NHL history to score two penalty shot goals.

Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 35 of 36 shots to secure his 39th win this season, another franchise record.

This team has put their names on a lot of records this year, and there's still 11 games to go in the regular season.

As any Jacket will tell you, this team is focused on one day at a time. Nick Foligno said after Sunday's win, "the job's not done."

There's still work to do. But one thing we know for sure, The March Is On.

Video: CBJ@NJD: Dubinsky picks the corner on a penalty shot

Instant Reactions:

Matt Calvert: "We're still chasing something. We want to be on top of the league. We're going to keep on working hard, and the more wins the better. If we can get home ice throughout all the playoffs it will be huge."

Video: Post Game: Matt Calvert (3/19/17)

Boone Jenner: "It feels really good, just the process this year, it was a goal to get in, and it pays off now to be in the playoffs. We still have some games left here to get our game where it needs to be."

Sergei Bobrovsky: "We worked hard for that. We worked a long time for that and we feel really good about that. But the most important games are in front of us."

John Tortorella: "We are in. We can talk about that. It's the start of the road. It gives you an opportunity to start your journey of (getting to) where you want to be. We've earned the right to start. I'm thrilled. The players should feel really good about themselves."

Video: Torts on the CBJ clinching a playoff spot

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