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Labatt Blue What We Learned: CBJ: 3, NYR: 1

Panarin nets first goal as Jackets score three unanswered

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider /

It was nice to get four goals from a rookie in their first three games, but the Blue Jackets needed their big guns to take control.

Outside of rookie Sonny Milano's four goals, the Jackets had scored just four other goals as a team coming into their game Friday at Nationwide Arena against the New York Rangers.



Seth Jones and Artemi Panarin upped that total by two with a pair of big goals and Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves in a 3-1 victory to start a back-to-back that will conclude Saturday the Minnesota Wild.

"Our first two periods, I thought we were chasing the game," Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I thought they were quicker. I thought they won a lot of the 50/50 pucks. Third period, I thought we played one of our best periods of the season, the short season so far. That's when we were around the net. That's when we had some speed."

The Jackets dominated the third period, outshooting the Rangers 18-9 and getting the game-winning goal at 7:25 from Panarin. The strong late effort rewarded Bobrovsky for making saves against all 18 shots he faced in the second.

That period largely belonged to New York, which led 1-0 late in the period when Jones tied it off a shot from the right wing through traffic. That gave Columbus a needed boost heading into the third, when Panarin performed some puck magic for his first goal as a Blue Jacket.

Video: Foligno on getting points early on

The shifty Russian left wing danced through the neutral zone, weaved through traffic, entered the Rangers' zone and pulled the puck to the forehand for a wrist shot from the slot that beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist to the glove side. "He's so creative," said Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski, who assisted on both goals. "He's so fun to watch up close and in-person. I see it every day in practice, but just to watch in games, too, is something special."

The crowd erupted. The cannon fired soon after. The Jackets' had their big goals from a couple big guns, which coach John Tortorella hoped to see in this game.

"They need to be better, is all," Tortorella said of his stars, prior to the game. "There's no science to it. I think it's a game for our top guys to lead the way."

Video: Werenski on Panarin's first CBJ goal

It started with Bobrovsky, who made 18 saves in the second period alone to keep Columbus within 1-0. It paved the way for Jones to make amends for his turnover late in the first, which led to Kevin Hayes scoring the game's first goal at 14:35.

His shot through traffic seemed harmless, but it got by Lundqvist, who looked like his former self rather than a goalie with a 1-2-0 record, 3.06 goals-against average and .898 save percentage in his first four starts.

Video: NYR@CBJ: Panarin scores first goal as a Blue Jacket

Lundqvist made 40 saves, including 16 in the third period, but it wasn't enough. The Jackets dominated play in the final 20 minutes and killed off all four power plays for the Rangers, including one late in the third following a holding minor assessed to Lukas Sedlak - who scored into an empty net with five seconds left after he got out of the penalty box.

The Jackets began the game with what appeared to be a goal by Matt Calvert just 27 seconds after the puck was dropped, but that was one overturned by a video review.

Panarin's counted, and the Jackets headed off to Minnesota looking for third straight win.

Sedlak got out of the box and scored the game's final goal into an empty net with five seconds left to finish off the big night for Columbus.

Video: Torts discusses building momentum following win


The First Twenty

Goals: NYR - Kevin Hayes (unassisted), 14:35; CBJ - None

Shots: Blue Jackets 13, Rangers 11

Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 58.5%, Rangers 41.5%

The Skinny: They had a fast start and a fevered finish to the first period, but the Blue Jackets still trailed 1-0 at the first intermission.

The Rangers took the lead on Hayes' goal, which he scored with 5:25 left. It was also eight seconds after Hayes left the penalty box for a slashing minor that gave the Jackets their lone power play of the period.

Columbus only got one shot on goal during that power play, but buzzed around the offensive zone for much of the two minutes Hayes was off the ice. Allowing the goal so soon after Hayes returned was a letdown, but not the first of the evening.

Just 27 seconds into the game, it looked like the Blue Jackets had a 1-0 lead on a goal by forward Matt Calvert, but a video review overturned what would've been his first goal of the season for goaltender interference.

QUOTE: "That had nothing to do with it. We waded into the game tonight. We weren't ready to play tonight." - Tortorella, on whether Calvert's disallowed goal factored into the Jackets' struggles early.


The Second Twenty

Goals: NYR - None; CBJ - Seth Jones (Werenski, Wennberg), 19:14

Shots: Rangers 18, Blue Jackets 12 (Overall: NYR 25-25)

Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 52%, Rangers 48%

The Skinny: The Rangers made Bobrovsky work hard to keep Columbus within a goal, and Jones' late goal rewarded him for it.

The game went to the second intermission tied 1-1 after Jones scored his first goal of the season with 45.8 seconds left, but the period largely belonged to the Rangers.

New York outshot Columbus 12-5 through the first 10 minutes, and forced Bobrovsky to make some excellent saves to stop them all.

Meanwhile, the Jackets did their best offensive work shorthanded. Four of their first six shots in the period were during penalty kills, including two by Foligno that Lundqvist stopped within a span of 13 seconds.

The second one drew a slashing penalty on McDonagh, but the Jackets were unable to convert on the power play.

Bobrovsky and Lundqvist made more noteworthy saves, as well. Bobrovsky stopped back-to-back shots by McDonagh and Vesey during a Rangers' power play midway through, and Lundqvist snared a hard, rising wrister from Werenski with 6:20 left.

Each team went 0-for-2 on power plays in the period.

QUOTE: "I think it's just fun to play those kind of games, when the game is tied and you know that if you make a mistake, another guy might not make [the play], and you might lose the game. There's a little bit of intensity and it's fun to play." - Bobrovsky, on matching Lundqvist save for save.


The Final Twenty

Goals: NYR - None; CBJ - Panarin (Jones, Werenski), 7:25; Sedlak (Murray), 19:54

Shots: Blue Jackets 18, Rangers 9

Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 72.7%, Rangers 27.3%

The Skinny: In short, the Blue Jackets dominated the final period of this game.

They outshot New York 10-0 a little more than five minutes into it, owned the puck almost start to finish and could've had several more goals had it not been for Lundqvist's outstanding work in net.

The Rangers' goalie just couldn't keep Panarin from scoring, after watching him dangle the puck through traffic and snap off that quick, hard wrist shot for the deciding goal.

It was an impressive capper to one impressive period.

QUOTE: "It should have been that score and us protecting the lead. We had five or six great chances to extend the lead, but I thought Lundqvist was tremendous in the third period." - Tortorella


News and Notes

**Jackets defenseman Gabriel Carlsson sustained an injury and didn't finish the game. His status against the Wild on Saturday is unclear.

"I haven't even talked to the trainers at all, but obviously he's banged up," Tortorella said.

**Werenski left the ice after a shift early in the second period and appeared to be in some discomfort on the bench. He remained in the game, played 20:05 and chalked up his first two assists of the season, on the goals by Jones and Panarin.

**Jones' night took a sudden turn for the better after his goal, which eluded Lundqvist after it caromed off a Rangers' player. Prior to the goal, Jones' turnover in the first led directly to Hayes' goal to open the scoring.

"Your first year [in the NHL], you make mistakes and you just want to move it and get it off my tape," Jones said. "It's somewhat the same [now], but I'm not going to be a shell of myself because of one play I make."

Tortorella's assessment of Jones' night was blunt, but he was glad to see the young defenseman turn things around.

"He was brutal," Tortorella said. "Forget about the turnover. He struggled. After he scored the goal, he played much better in the third period. Not just him, but all of us."

**The Jackets' top line of Panarin, Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson came into the game with a goal by Atkinson, three assists by Panarin and two assists from Wennberg in the first three games.

They were split up in a 5-1 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks last Saturday, but reunited in a 2-1 overtime win Thursday at the Carolina Hurricanes. Tortorella fought the urge to break them up again Friday, when things weren't clicking early, but decided instead to follow his plan and stick with them.

"It's been a little bit of a struggle," Tortorella said. "But I wanted to give them as much ice time [as possible]. I was just going to keep on playing them."

It worked.

Panarin (66.7%), Wennberg (68.6%) and Atkinson (67.7%) each finished with shot-attempts percentages (Corsi%) north of 65 percent for the game, after controlling the puck much of the third period.

**Jackets captain Nick Foligno skated in the 700th game of his NHL career. He didn't have a point, but finished with a plus-1 rating in 18:06 of ice time. He also helped the Jackets kill off all four Rangers power plays.



Rangers: Host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (7 p.m., MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (8 p.m., FS-O, FS-N, Fox Sports Go, NHL.TV)

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