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The Full 60: Jackets overwhelm Panthers with depth scoring

Despite seeking its identity, Columbus scores seven to start its road trip with a rout.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider /

SUNRISE, Fla. - It wasn't perfect, but the Blue Jackets found a way to win again.

It was more impressive than that, though. It was more like they found a way to dominate the Florida Panthers, 7-3, Thursday night at BB&T Center to start a three-game road trip.

Despite falling behind early and fumbling away a pair of one-goal leads, the Blue Jackets notched their ninth win in 13 games, improving to 9-4-0 and tying the franchise high for points through that many games to start a season.

They got two goals each from Oliver Bjorkstrand and Josh Anderson, a three-point game from Boone Jenner (one goal, two assists) and 14 guys had at least a point on the scoresheet.

"When we're playing with that pace and that intensity, you can see that's tough for other teams to handle," Jenner said. "We're pretty balanced, and the defense chips in quite a bit as well. To have that many options, that many guys being around the net and getting in on goals is obviously huge."

Here's how this one unfolded:

First Twenty

Goals: FLA - Mark Pysyk (Vincent Trocheck, Jamie McGinn), 4:57; CBJ - Josh Anderson (Brandon Dubinsky, Pierre-Luc Dubois), 11:32, Anderson (Markus Nutivaara, Boone Jenner), 16:27
Shots:  Blue Jackets 12, Panthers 8
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 61% (25-16), Panthers 39% (16-25)

The rundown: The Panthers were the latest opponent to carry the early play against the Blue Jackets, who leaned on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to make several big saves in the first couple minutes of the game.

Florida outshot Columbus 4-1 and held a 9-2 advantage in shot attempts in the first five minutes of the game, including Denis Malgin hitting the left post and Pysyk making it 1-0 at 4:57 by scoring off the rebound of a shot by Trocheck.

The Blue Jackets didn't panic. Instead, as they have all season, they steadily gained puck control and eventually surged ahead on Anderson's fourth and fifth goals of the season - a point-blank chip shot just outside the crease and a wrist shot that he ripped past James Reimer.

QUOTE: "It was definitely in the back of my mind. A couple of the guys came up to me and said, 'Hopefully you'll get it,' so hopefully it'll happen." - Anderson, on seeking his first NHL hat trick after scoring twice in the first period.

Second Twenty

Goals: FLA - Ian McCoshen (Radim Vrbata, Trocheck),0:35; CBJ - Markus Hannikainen (David Savard, Matt Calvert), 5:21, Oliver Bjorkstrand (Seth Jones, Sonny Milano), 9:11; Bjorkstrand (Zach Werenski, Calvert), 11:27
Shots: Blue Jackets 17, Panthers 12
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 61% (25-16), Panthers 39% (16-25)

The rundown: Another tough start to a period for the Jackets, but this wasn't your typical 20 minutes of hockey.

The Jackets lost two one-goal leads, allowing odd goals to McCoshen and Trocheck, but scored three of their own on Hannikainen's first of the season and Bjorkstrand's third and fourth.

McCoshen's goal 35 seconds into the period got it going, making it 2-2 when his shot from the left point hit a Blue Jackets player in the slot and changed directions. Hannikainen responded about four minutes later to put Columbus back up 3-2, and then it got a little weird.

Trocheck tied it with a "shot" that slid off his stick and eluded Bobrovsky as it skidded along the ice near the left post. It slid underneath him, went over the goal line and stopped behind the right post.

Unfazed, the Jackets bounced back again. This time, they got two goals by Bjorkstrand in a 2:16 span, and drove Reimer from the net for the second straight game.

QUOTE: "For me, it was just how quick we played. I don't think we made many [defense to defense] plays, I thought our transition game was fast, it was direct and it gave us a chance to play. I think tonight's game was probably the most we've played under the hash mark all year long, and I thought we did a pretty good job there." - Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

Final Twenty

Goals: FLA - None; CBJ - Tyler Motte (Nutivaara, Bobrovsky), 8:27; Jenner (Artemi Panarin, Werenski), 6:12
Shots: Panthers 14, Blue Jackets 11
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Panthers 56.5% (13-10), Blue Jackets 43.5% (10-13)

Overall shots: Blue Jackets 40, Panthers 34

Overall Corsi: Blue Jackets 57.1% (60-45), Panthers 42.9% (45-60)

The rundown: They got outshot in the period, but the Blue Jackets didn't get dominated. They also finished the game off in impressive fashion, with two goals, including another power-play goal and one scored by Tyler Motte in his second game since being recalled from the Cleveland Monsters on Monday.

If you include his last two games with Cleveland, Motte has scored six goals in his past four games, including a hat trick last weekend against Ontario.

Jenner scored the power-play goal by tipping the puck off a nice shot by Panarin from the inside half of the right circle, for his third point of the game.

QUOTE: "Just playing a little soccer out there. Yeah, not sure if it was intentional or not, but we'll give him the credit for it. It's nice when the puck finds you and you're able to contribute." - Motte, on scoring his goal after Jenner carried the puck to the net and left it for him.

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