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game recap

Blue Jackets set record for home victories

Columbus wins 26th of season at Nationwide Arena; Sergei Bobrovsky makes 33 saves against Panthers

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have their sights set on the top spot in the NHL.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves, Josh Anderson had a goal and an assist, and the Blue Jackets defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1 at Nationwide Arena on Thursday to set a record for home victories.

The Blue Jackets are 26-9-1 at home. They went 25-13-3 during the 2008-09 season.

Columbus (45-18-6) has 96 points, two behind the Washington Capitals for the Metropolitan Division lead and the most in the NHL, and one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

WATCH: All Panthers vs. Blue Jackets highlights

 

Zach Werenski also scored for the Blue Jackets, who lost the previous two games to the Panthers this season.

"It's pretty crazy right now," Werenski said. "The top of our division is pretty tight. We want to be No. 1, get in front of [Washington] there and get in from of [Pittsburgh] too."

Video: FLA@CBJ: Bobrovsky denies Bjugstad, Marchessault

Jonathan Marchessault scored and James Reimer had 32 saves for the Panthers (30-28-11), who have lost six of seven (1-5-1).

"It could have gone either way," Florida coach Tom Rowe said. "We got a lot of good looks at their goaltender. He came up with some big saves. Overall I thought we did a real good job."

Trailing 1-0, the Blue Jackets scored twice in the final 4:09 of the second period to lead 2-1.

Werenski scored on a shot from the outer edge of the left circle with the help of a Matt Calvert screen to tie the score at 1-1 at 15:51. The rookie defenseman has 11 goals and 44 points.

Anderson made it 2-1 with 39 seconds left with a tip of Jack Johnson's shot.

Marchessault and Thomas Vanek continued to post points to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead after one period.

Video: FLA@CBJ: Marchessault scoops in his own rebound

Vanek, after being denied at the left post by Bobrovsky, gathered the puck and went to the other side, where his pass in front went off Columbus center William Karlsson to the stick of Marchessault at 18:15 for his 23rd goal.

Marchessault has five points (four goals, one assist) in the past four games. Vanek has five assists in the past two games.

 
Goal of the game

Werenski's goal from the near left wall couldn't have been placed better. The shot went past several players and Reimer to the far upper corner.

Video: FLA@CBJ: Werenski nets beautiful sharp-angle goal

 
Save of the game

Reimer kept the Blue Jackets off the board at 2:25 of the second period when Calvert had a shorthanded breakaway. Calvert made several moves but Reimer held the right post with his skate and blocked the stuff attempt.

Video: FLA@CBJ: Reimer extends pad to rob Calvert's break

 
Unsung performance of the game

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said Johnson was ill before the game but the defenseman assisted on Anderson's goal seconds after keeping the puck in the zone to keep the play alive. Johnson played 21:17, including 2:32 on the penalty kill, and was plus-1.

"He really struggled for a number of minutes then found his game, made some big plays killing penalties," Tortorella said.

Video: FLA@CBJ: Anderson deflects in Johnson's slapper

 
Highlight of the game

Bobrovsky cut the angle at the near post, stuck out his right pad and stopped a shot by Marchessault with 47 seconds left in the third period.

 

They said it

"I was ready to change the lines but we scored a couple of goals so we left it alone. I probably would have made a mistake if I changed lines there. It's funny how things work out." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

 

"It's tough to swallow right now seeing how we played pretty well, with a goal called back early. It's tough right now." -- Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle

 

"We were trying to work on that the last couple of weeks, getting bodies to the net and making it hard for the goalies." -- Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson on his goal

 

"They played their hearts out. They know what's on the line. I've got no problem with the effort. The effort was awesome." -- Panthers coach Tom Rowe

 
Need to know

The Panthers had a 1-0 lead at 3:44 of the first period overturned on a coach's challenge for goaltender interference on Jonathan Huberdeau. ... Jeff Rimer, the Blue Jackets' play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports Ohio, was recognized before the game for broadcasting his 2,000th NHL game Saturday at the Buffalo Sabres. ... Columbus was shorthanded twice and killed both penalties after killing seven of eight against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

 
What's next

Panthers: At the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHL Network, TVA Sports, MSG, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the New York Islanders on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHL Network, MSG+, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Anderson's two points lead Jackets past Panthers, 2-1

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