COYOTES (7-6-2) 5, BLUE JACKETS (4-9-2) 3
JOBING.COM ARENA | GLENDALE, ARIZ.
The way this game started, you had the feeling anything could happen. And it was certainly an up-and-down, rollercoaster type of ride from start to finish at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
The Blue Jackets and Coyotes entered the third period in a 3-3 deadlock and it was anyone's game, but Columbus ran into penalty trouble that really disrupted its rhythm. They lost another player (Brandon Dubinsky) to injury in this game and were even further shorthanded, but we'll cover that in the quick takes section. When the dust settled on this wild and entertaining game, the Coyotes emerged with a 5-3 victory that was certainly there for the taking.
Jared Boll, who played a terrific game for the Blue Jackets, got it all started just 2:09 into the first period when he floated a wrist shot toward the net, beating Mike Smith for a 1-0 lead. The Coyotes struck twice in short order to take a 2-1 lead minutes later, but Matt Calvert came right back the other way on a 2-on-1 with Nick Foligno to tie the game back up on a beautiful snap shot under the bar.
Eventually, it became too much pressure on the Blue Jackets' penalty kill which was forced to log a lot of minutes tonight. Phoenix got the game-winner on the power play -- its eighth of the night -- in the third period after Martin Hanzal was left alone in the crease in front of Steve Mason. Another factor in the Blue Jackets' comeback efforts: they did not record a shot on goal in the third period until their late power play with under three minutes to play.
Hanzal's second goal of the game was an empty-netter with just over a minute to play, sealing the 5-3 final score.
If the Blue Jackets could kill one more penalty, perhaps the outcome would have been different, but Hanzal's go-ahead goal (the game winner) was the turning point in the game. Columbus was pretty efficient while shorthanded and kept the Coyotes at bay, but the home team cashed in the clutch and pulled ahead for the third and final time.
- Brandon Dubinsky suffered a lower-body injury in the second period after a collision in the corner with Phoenix's Chris Summers. He was listed as questionable to return, much like Artem Anisimov last night.
- I thought Steve Mason bounced back after a shaky first period and really steadied the Blue Jackets the rest of the way. It was a wild game to start, but he made some saves while Columbus was shorthanded to calm his teammates down.
- Terrific game for MacKenzie tonight, and overall, the Blue Jackets' fourth line. The trio played a lot due to injuries throughout the game and really caused problems for the Coyotes defense with their forechecking. Boll's multi-point game is just one example; he opened the scoring but also made a nice play to set up MacKenzie's 3-3 goal in the second period.
- Calvert was among Columbus' most dangerous scoring options tonight and you have to like how he's been playing. Strong on his skates, not afraid to go to the net and possesses a hard, accurate wrist shot. His first-period goal seemed to surprise Smith with its velocity and beat him cleanly just under the crossbar.
at Anaheim Ducks
Monday, 10 p.m.