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FINAL: Blue Jackets 4, Golden Knights 3

Columbus finishes perfect road trip with win in Vegas

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

Columbus (31-20-3) finished off a perfect three-game road trip against Western Conference teams, winning 4-3 in Vegas (31-22-4) in a spirited Saturday night contest.

Game in a Paragraph 

The game began at a fever pitch, with both teams playing at a tremendous pace before the Golden Knights took a 2-1 lead after one. Columbus then dominated the second period and tied the score on Artemi Panarin's goal. In the third, Vegas scored near the midway point to take a 3-2 lead, but Cam Atkinson tied the game with 5:12 to go and won it with a power-play goal with 2:39 to go.

Quote of the Night

Head coach John Tortorella: "We played really well. I thought our second period was probably one of our better periods all year long. They had a push in the beginning of the third, we tried to catch up with them but we just kept our patience and found a way. It's a great pass and a great play to tie ti up, and our power play comes through."

Video: Torts on finding a way

CBJ Notables 

  • Josh Anderson scored for the third game in a row and the fourth time in the last five games. 
  • Boone Jenner had an assist to give him a 1-4-5 line in three games since his return from an ankle injury. 
  • Atkinson scored his 30th goal of the season to tie the game then potted No. 31 to give the Jackets the win with 2:39 to play. 

Video: Cam talks about confidence

Quick Recap 

Columbus didn't waste much time getting on the board as Anderson scored just 4:04 into the game. Seth Jones took a one-time shot from the right point off a feed from Jenner, and the puck deflected past Marc-Andre Fleury after going off Anderson's stick in front. 

But the lead lasted just 32 seconds as Vegas went the other way and made it a 1-1 game. A centering feed from Nate Schmidt deflected off the skate of Pierre-Luc Dubois in front and went over the shoulder of Sergei Bobrovsky to tie the game. 

Vegas then took a 2-1 lead with 2:11 left in the first with a shorthanded goal. Bobrovsky slid left to try to make a save on a 2-on-1 chance but the puck ended up coming back into the slot to Jon Merrill in front, and his shot beat the recovering Bobrovsky to the blocker to give the Knights the lead. 

Columbus was then lucky to keep it a one-goal game going to the second as Bobrovsky had to make big stops on Reilly Smith and Max Pacioretty in front in the final two minutes. 

Columbus dominated the second, though, outshooting the Golden Knights by a 9-3 margin and tying the score with 4:29 left in the period. After consecutive strong shifts for the Jackets, the team caught a break as Fleury left the net to play the puck, only to see it take a bounce off the boards right to Panarin for an easy stuff home. 

Bobrovsky made a number of big saves to start the third period, including chances from the slot in the opening minutes of the period by Jonathan Marchessault and Ryan Reaves.

Video: Bob on two big points

Fleury made back-to-back big saves on the other end near the midway point of the third, and it paid off for Vegas after the ensuing draw as Pierre-Edouard Bellemare raced the puck up the ice along the left-wing boards and fed the trailing Cody Eakin for a one-time bomb past Bobrovsky's glove to make it a 3-2 game with 10:39 to play. 

But Columbus tied the score with 5:12 left. Panarin took the puck deep in his own zone and fed Atkinson flying down the right wing, and Atkinson carried the puck to the net and put his own rebound past Fleury for the milestone goal and a 3-3 game.

Then Atkinson won it with 2:39 remaining, as the Jackets scored a power-play goal for the sixth time in seven games. It was a wrist shot by Atkinson, who put it past Fleury's glove for the winning tally with a screen in front.

Captain Nick Foligno and David Savard then made big shot blocks down the stretch to help preserve the win.

By the Numbers 

Vegas fell to 16-7-3 at home this year, and Columbus is now 3-1 all-time against Vegas. Bobrovsky won his third straight game and had 20 saves, while Fleury had 29 stops. … Scott Harrington had an assist on Panarin's second-period goal to give him 13 helpers on the year. … Oliver Bjorkstrand had an assist on the goal as well to give him four points (3-1-4) in the last five games. … Columbus killed Vegas' only power-play chance of the night and has allowed just one power-play goal in 2019. ... Panarin had a goal and two assists for his fourth multi-point effort in the last six games (2-8-10).

Video: Blue Jackets rally to beat Golden Knights, 4-3

Roster Report 

Columbus kept the same lineup as the team used Thursday at Arizona, with forwards Brandon Dubinsky (hip) and Mark Letestu scratched along with defenseman Dean Kukan. 

Up Next 

The Blue Jackets return home to take on Washington on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Nationwide Arena.

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