BLUE JACKETS 4 | STARS 2
Whatever Artem Anisimov's having, his teammates would like some of it.
Two goals for the big Russian center - the second one being a huge insurance marker late in the third period - were pivotal in the Blue Jackets' third straight win, a 4-2 triumph over the Dallas Stars at Nationwide Arena. That gives him 18 goals on the season, tying a career high with almost a quarter of the season to go.
FINAL: BLUE JACKETS 4 | STARS 2
This one started fast for Columbus, stalled in the middle but got a big boost at the end.
Just like their opponent tonight, the Blue Jackets were playing their second game in as many nights and wanted to make sure they were the team that came flying out of the gate. A quick start was paramount for them, as they wanted to carry over the momentum from their win in Toronto and get the rush-oriented Stars slowed down early.
With three goals on their first nine shots, that mission was accomplished.
Boone Jenner opened the scoring on Columbus' first shot - a laser beam over the shoulder of Stars goaltender Dan Ellis just 1:14 into the game - and the Jackets were rolling right off the bat. RJ Umberger made it 2-0 at 11:29, capitalizing on a semi-break after a nice play by Dubinsky sent him in one-on-one against Ellis. Less than four minutes later, Anisimov tallied his first of two goals by swatting in a rebound on the power play to make it 3-0 in favor of the Jackets.
It was slightly interesting that Stars coach Lindy Ruff didn't use his timeout or change his goaltender, but his team rewarded him with a much better effort which tested the Jackets' resolve down the stretch. Dallas out-shot Columbus by a 12-1 margin in the second period and didn't allow a shot for the first 18 minutes of the frame; their third period was equally strong at the start, and the Stars scored two quick to pull within 3-2 at 3:22 of the final stanza.
Sergei Bobrovsky was tremendous on the second night of a back-to-back and kept the Blue Jackets in the battle when their game slipped in the second period. He finished game with 31 saves to record his third straight victory, locking up two points that have the Blue Jackets within sniffing distance of a playoff spot.
Anisimov's second goal was an exclamation point on a second half of the third period that seemed to say "not this time." The Blue Jackets could've folded and given up the third goal to Dallas and scrounged the game to overtime, but Anisimov made a determined play to drive out from behind the net and get into a scoring area. It was a huge goal - the insurance goal - and helped put the game away for Columbus.
1. ARTEM ANISIMOV (CBJ)
Two goals tonight gives Anisimov 18 on the season in 62 games, tying his career high with 20 games to go. He's scored five goals in his last four games and is playing with a ton of confidence.
2. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
Bob was Bob tonight, as his teammates like to say. Make it three straight wins for Bobrovsky and the Jackets after a fine 31-save effort tonight.
3. BOONE JENNER (CBJ)
He was a big-time spark plug for the Blue Jackets tonight, hitting everything that moved and that's not to mention a wicked wrist shot on his first shift (his 11th goal of the season).
AT CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
THURSDAY, 8 P.M.