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Post Game: Canadiens 5, Blue Jackets 3

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets



The final score is disappointing in large part because of what went into eliminating a 3-0 deficit, but the fact of the matter is that the Blue Jackets can't put themselves in a three-goal hole.

Tomas Plekanec's worm-burner with just over a minute remaining in regulation broke a 3-3 tie at the Bell Centre, deflating what was an energized Blue Jackets side that scored three straight in the second and third periods to draw even and have a chance to turn a blowout into a defining victory. Montreal stormed to a 2-0 lead in the first period, added a shorthanded goal from Andrei Markov and seemed to be in total control midway through the game. But along the way, something changed and it started with 20-year-old Boone Jenner.

A healthy scratch earlier in the season and a guy who's bounced around the last couple of games, Jenner was inserted for top-line duty in the absence of Marian Gaborik and he willed the Blue Jackets back into the game. 

His first NHL goal - a hard-working rebound at the front of the net - got the Jackets on the board in the second period and gave them some life. Ryan Johansen's first goal of the season made it a one-goal game entering the third period, and given a power play chance in the third, Columbus capitalized and again it was their relentless rookie forward.

A shot from the point got through and Price gave up a big rebound, allowing Jenner to get position in front and pull the puck to his backhand. One quick move and it was into the top shelf, pulling the game all square at 3-3 and making two points a legitimate possibility for the visitors. 

Instead it was a couple of mistakes that came back to haunt the Blue Jackets, and two shorthanded goals allowed are the most glaring. They're off to Washington to try and salvage the final game of this three-game swing. 

Even though it was a losing effort, the Blue Jackets' three-goal rally is indicative of the resolve they had throughout last season's playoff push. Down three in a tough building, other teams have packed it in but this group picked itself up and went back to work. You don't get points for trying in the NHL, but credit to the Blue Jackets for giving themselves a chance to salvage something from a poor start.

Not very often does a goaltender allow three goals and earn No. 1 star billing, but a) local media picks the three stars and b) he kept the Canadiens afloat during some shaky moments early in the game. He had stopped 101-of-103 previous shots entering the game and made timely stops when called upon. 

A bizarre yet effective game for the 20-year-old rookie: a pair goals, nearly 21 minutes of ice time (20:14), six shots on goal but carried a -2 rating. Todd Richards said Jenner took a step forward tonight and did the same on Tuesday in Detroit, and he has been showing more glimpses of the player he can be. 

He's an electric player and one that teams have to watch out for whenever he has the puck, and Subban made things happen tonight - especially so in the first period. He recorded assists on Montreal's first two goals of the game and gave Columbus all kinds of trouble in the opening frame.


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