BLUE JACKETS 4 | BLUE JACKETS 0
Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards wasn't too thrilled with how his team started tonight's game. What he did like, though, was how they responded and took over the game in the third period.
FINAL: JACKETS 4 | ISLANDERS 0
And their power play, which has sputtered at times this season, pitched in big-time with three goals (Boone Jenner, Jack Johnson and Ryan Murray earning credit for the tallies) and they made a 4-0 lead after two periods stand up. Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and second in three games, and did some of his best work early when the Islanders applied the pressure.
Here's how it all went down:
On their first man advantage, Mark Letestu got free in the slot and put a quick shot on Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson, who had the puck squeak through his pads and sit on the goal line for a couple of seconds.
Jenner barreled in and nudged it over the line, and the Jackets added a second power play goal later in the period. Johnson ripped a one-timer under the crossbar at 13:10 of the first, giving Columbus a 2-0 lead it carried into the intermission.
The Jackets' lone even-strength goal of the night came courtesy of Letestu, who finished off a cross-ice feed from Matt Frattin (Frattin's first point as a Jacket) midway through the second period. Late in the middle frame, it was Murray creeping into the slot and Cam Atkinson hitting him with a perfect pass for a one-timer, which Murray wired in for a 4-0 lead.
"At the end of the day, coming away with two points...that's what we want," Letestu said. "We're two points closer to our goal. We kept it simple (in the third period); we simplified it and smothered them, and kept their opportunities to a minimum.
"To finish (the season) off with four in five days, it's very Blue Jacket-like to do it the hard way. Hopefully we'll earn our way into the playoffs."
There were ebbs and flows in this game, but the turning point has to be the Jackets' fourth and final goal.
The Islanders gave Columbus some trouble in its own zone, keeping shifts alive and sustaining pressure, but the two second-period goals kept the Jackets' foot on the gas pedal and sealed the deal.
1. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
Tying a career-high with his 28th win of the season by notching a 31-save shutout, his second in four days? Definitely worthy of the No. 1 star.
2. BOONE JENNER (CBJ)
Asked post-game if Jenner's poise surprised him, Richards: "nope, not at all." The young man has become a solid pro and is bringing a ton of energy every single night for the Jackets.
3. MARK LETESTU (CBJ)
A goal and an assist tonight for Letestu, who's shifted around a bit lately (nothing new to him) but has still played a solid two-way game.
VS. PHOENIX COYOTES
TUESDAY, 7 P.M.