BLUE JACKETS 4 | DUCKS 2
All the talk before Monday night's game in Anaheim was of "the gauntlet," also known as the three-game jaunt NHL teams take through California to face a trio of the league's top clubs. The Blue Jackets
, opening that trip at Honda Center - a place the Anaheim Ducks had only lost three times in regulation all season - played like a team oblivious to the noise.
They checked all the boxes for a 4-2 win over the league's best home team: a strong start, a relatively disciplined game (only two power plays for Anaheim), timely scoring and a terrific outing from the goaltender. The Blue Jackets, winners of three straight games, maintained their third-place spot in the Metropolitan Division with their 29th win of the season. Ryan Johansen
's line opened the scoring in the first period, and No. 19 himself paid off a tremendous shift by that group. Nathan Horton and Boone Jenner were hard at work below the goal line, and on their second foray into the Anaheim zone, Horton found Johansen with a nice pass in the left circle and Johansen one-touched a quick snapshot past Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen.
Columbus' lead grew to 2-0 late in the second period when James Wisniewski
- a game-time decision with a lower body ailment - sent a half-slap shot toward the net that re-directed off RJ Umberger
and into the net. And with that goal, the Jackets (once again) carried a two-goal lead into the third period on the road.
Unlike last week's disappointing finish in Raleigh, the Blue Jackets put the gas pedal down tonight.
Foligno scored twice in the third period, including a power play goal to make it 4-1, to cap the Jackets' scoring and give Bobrovsky more than enough run support.
After the Ducks got on the board in the third period, the Blue Jackets needed to come up with an answer. A pair of strong plays in the offensive zone allowed Umberger to zip a pass to the net where Foligno was waiting at the top of the crease. Andersen made the first save but Foligno cashed the rebound, netting a huge insurance marker for the Blue Jackets.
1. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
Another impressive performance for Bobrovsky tonight, racking up 34 saves on 36 shots and holding steady while Anaheim put forth its best rally in the third period. Some of his stops were circus-like.
2. NICK FOLIGNO (CBJ)
With the Ducks pushing, the Jackets needed a third period goal and Foligno gave them two.
3. BOONE JENNER (CBJ)
Todd Richards had plenty of praise for Jenner's game tonight, and for good reason. He was a forechecking machine tonight and was, generally speaking, a disturbance in the Force.
AT LOS ANGELES KINGS
THURSDAY, 10:30 P.M.