BLUE JACKETS VS. BRUINS
ANALYSIS: This game has officially gone up another level of crazy. What a period for the Blue Jackets, who erupted for four goals and chased Niklas Svedberg early in the second period after taking a 4-1 lead. Tuukka Rask took over, and made a handful of really good saves as the Jackets kept swarming on the forecheck and pouncing on turnovers. The Blue Jackets got goals from Hartnell (again), Kevin Connauton, Nick Foligno and Matt Calvert in the middle frame, turning a 1-1 deadlock into a 5-2 advantage after 40 minutes. They've had their foot on the gas pedal most of the night, and Dalton Prout's fight with Milan Lucic seemed to get Columbus going. Shots are 22-19 favoring the Jackets after 40 minutes.
This just in from the Blue Jackets...Atkinson suffered an upper body injury and will not return to tonight's game.
Cam Atkinson did not play after his first shift. He appeared to take a hard hit from Boston defenseman Matt Bartkowski and went down the tunnel to the Blue Jackets' dressing room. No official update has been provided.ANALYSIS:
The first game after the Christmas break started just about how you'd expect the first game after the Christmas break to start. Both teams worked to get their game going, and after a few dust-ups and meetings around the net, the game seemed to pick up pace and, for the most part, the Blue Jackets had the better of play. Columbus opened the scoring on Scott Hartnell's seventh goal of the season, chopping in a rebound off a point shot by Kevin Connauton at 8:11. Twenty seconds later, Patrice Bergeron walked into the slot and sniped one past Curtis McElhinney to draw Boston level, and that's where we stand after 20. Shots are 11-7 favoring the Jackets.
UPDATE (11:05 AM): Scott Hartnell said he feels good to go after missing five games with a broken finger. Richards confirmed Hartnell will return to the lineup tonight vs. the Bruins.
UPDATE (10:55 AM): Todd Richards said Bobrovsky is ill with a stomach bug and will not play tonight. Curtis McElhinney gets the start. Anton Forsberg is being recalled to serve as the backup goaltender.
UPDATE (10:03 AM): Here are the Jackets' lines and pairs...
UPDATE (10:00 AM): Sergei Bobrovsky is not on the ice for the Blue Jackets' morning skate today. Looks like Curtis McElhinney gets the start tonight.
WE'VE MISSED YOU!
Sorry for yelling. We're a little excited. It's game day once again and the home stand continues tonight at Nationwide Arena!
The NHL and its 30 member clubs have been off since Dec. 23, and there have been no team activities since, so we're getting right back into it tonight as the Boston Bruins make their second visit to Columbus in seven weeks. The last time? Well, it didn't go so well for Columbus.
Ok, check that: it started well for the Blue Jackets. They were up 2-0 in the first period, they were flying and forechecking the Bruins into mistake after mistake...but then they got away from their game. That 2-0 lead held up into the third period, but Boston scored three quick goals early in the third to take a 3-2 lead and force the Blue Jackets to rally. They did just that, but ultimately dropped a seven-round shootout in a game that really felt like it got away from them.
December has been a different story for the Blue Jackets (as you may be aware). They are 8-1-1 entering tonight's game but they would love to boost that win total by one more tonight, and exact some revenge for that disappointing result on Nov. 21. It's going to take a big effort, but the Blue Jackets have shown that they're up for a challenge during this run.
Here are some game day tidbits to get you started:
- Scott Hartnell (broken finger) skated a few times last week and appears on the verge of a return. It's possible he could play tonight, and if he's ready to go, the Blue Jackets will need a roster move. They're currently at 23 players.
- The roster stands at 23 players after Sean Collins was recalled on emergency conditions yesterday. He's slotted to serve as the extra forward tonight.
- These next two games (tonight and then Wednesday vs. Minnesota) are extremely important for the Blue Jackets before they head out on the road. They'll spend the majority of January away from Nationwide Arena, beginning Jan. 3 in Glendale - a game that begins a four-game trip ending in Toronto on Jan. 9.