CANADIENS (27-16-5) at BLUE JACKETS (27-15-3)
Friday, 7 p.m., Nationwide Arena (FOX Sports Ohio, CBJ app, FOX Sports app, CD 102.5 FM)
BUY TICKETS for Military Appreciation Night
As the Blue Jackets began the third period of Tuesday's game against New Jersey holding a 4-1 lead, recent history suggested that was one of the worst places Columbus could be.
In the first three games of the team's four-game win streak, the Blue Jackets had given up goals in the late going. Against Nashville, it was two in the last five minutes to turn a 3-1 lead into a 3-3 tie. Against Washington, a 1-0 lead the team had nursed from the opening minutes disappeared with the Caps' net empty. And the Rangers had turned a 6-3 romp into a 6-5 nailbiter in the late going before Nick Foligno's goal iced a third straight win.
But there was no panic in the Blue Jackets vs. the Devils. Joonas Korpisalo and the Blue Jackets slammed the door, limiting New Jersey's scoring chances and finishing the 4-1 victory.
"I liked our third period," head coach John Tortorella said afterward. "They score a late goal (in the second). I thought that might give them some juice, but I thought we checked, didn't give up any odd-man rushes and just played straight ahead. I thought we were much more aware away from the puck in the third period."