BLUE JACKETS 3 | HURRICANES 0
Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has only played two games since returning from a month-long injury absence, but the impact he's made is immeasurable.
BLUE JACKETS 3 | HURRICANES 0
The guy they call "Bob" stopped all 36 shots directed at him by the Carolina Hurricanes - who had won five straight games entering tonight - to record his second shutout of the season and first since a 6-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs back on Nov. 25.
He was simply outstanding from the get-go, and kept the Blue Jackets afloat when their game slipped in the second period (Carolina out-shot Columbus by a 16-8 margin in the middle frame). It's the Bobrovsky his teammates, coaches and fans fell in love with last season, and that's a very good sign for a team that needs to go on a surge.
Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson (power play) scored goals for Columbus tonight and a vocal crowd of 16,008 boosted them along the way. The Blue Jackets, with their 3-0 victory tonight, picked up their second straight Metropolitan Division win and have now won three of their last four games.
The Jenner-Anisimov-Horton line, assembled prior to Monday's game in New York, set the tone in the first period and opened the scoring on a great forechecking sequence.
Anisimov and Horton worked below the goal line and got some help from Hurricanes forward Brett Sutter, who put the puck right on Jenner's stick betwen the circles and he buried his sixth of the season for a 1-0 lead.
Then it was Dubinsky off the rush, rifling a wrist shot far side on Anton Khudobin for a 2-0 lead just 70 seconds after Jenner's goal.
Atkinson, who played one of his stronger games of late, capped the scoring with a wicked shot on the power play at 5:54 of the third period and it was a big one. The Blue Jackets were dangerously close to letting a four-minute power play go by the wayside, but Atkinson's tally made Carolina pay for an untimely mistake.
The Hurricanes got their chance in the third period. In what was a relatively penalty-free game, Columbus took back-to-back penalties in less than a minute to hand Carolina a lengthy 5-on-3 power play. The Blue Jackets, who have been much better shorthanded in the past few games, stepped up and delivered a clutch kill that brought the building to a roar.
The highlight? Two massive pad stops by Bobrovsky on Elias Lindholm, who was all alone at the far post.
1. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
He was a key player in the outcome, no doubt about it: Bobrovsky stopped 36-of-36 tonight and has turned aside 96.2 percent of shots faced since returning on Monday. As Todd Richards said post-game, he galvanized the Blue Jackets tonight.
2. CAM ATKINSON (CBJ)
There's something about that line that brings out the best of Atkinson, Calvert and Dubinsky and it was a big night for No. 13. He set up Dubinsky's goal, tallied on the power play and logged 15:08 TOI.
3. BRANDON DUBINSKY (CBJ)
He scored a timely goal in the first period that got the Hurricanes back on their heels, and anchored a reunited trio that played a solid game.
AT WINNIPEG JETS
SATURDAY, 7 P.M.