BLUE JACKETS (17-16-7) 4, SHARKS (20-12-7) 0
NATIONWIDE ARENA | COLUMBUS, OH
The Blue Jackets' primary focus was getting back to their game and putting Sunday's loss behind them. Mission accomplished.
From the opening face-off tonight against the San Jose Sharks, the Blue Jackets had their foot on the gas pedal and didn't slow down. They got pucks in deep behind the Sharks defense, finished their checks and made San Jose play at their speed - and it was something the visitors simply could not handle.
At the end of the night, it was one of the Blue Jackets' most complete performances in recent memory. They got 30 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky, a 60-minute effort from their forwards and defensemen and didn't yield many quality opportunities in the scoring areas. Columbus' 4-0 win (for the time being) vaulted it into ninth place in a jam-packed Western Conference with 41 points in 40 games and sent a lively crowd of 17,771 home happy.
Matt Calvert got it started with his eighth goal of the season, chopping the puck past Antti Niemi at 8:39 of the first period after he and his line mates embarked on a hellacious shift in the Sharks zone. James Wisniewski uncorked a missile from the center point to make it 2-0 early in the second period, and less than two minutes later, Marian Gaborik hit Ryan Johansen with a nifty feed and Johansen went top shelf for a 3-0 advantage.
Niemi's night was through after Gaborik finished off a 2-on-1 with Artem Anisimov at 7:16 of the third period, giving way to Thomas Greiss to round out the night.
Bobrovsky was the No. 1 star of the game, recording his fourth shutout of the season - all coming in the past 15 games.
Holding a 1-0 lead when the second period began, the Blue Jackets needed a quick burst just like they got to blow the game open. The back-to-back tallies from Wisniewski and Johansen brought a renewed energy throughout the building and the Jackets built on it - getting quality minutes from all four lines the rest of the way and letting their goaltender make the stops.
- Here are Bobrovsky's numbers at Nationwide Arena this year: 10-3-5, 1.72 GAA, .943 save percentage and three shutouts. His lone shutout on the road was a 1-0 shootout loss in Vancouver last month.
- The Blue Jackets are 10-1-3 and have outscored opponents 39-24 in their last 14 home games.
- Gaborik recorded 1-1-2 against San Jose and has now tallied 2-3-5 in four games played since joining the Blue Jackets last Wednesday. He's been a dynamic force playing with two old teammates in Prospal and Anisimov, and is getting more and more comfortable with each game.
- Wisniewski scored his fifth goal of the season in the second period and fired a season-high six shots on Sharks goaltenders. Wisniewski also dished out a team-high four hits and blocked a game-high five shots.
vs. St. Louis Blues
Friday, 7 p.m.
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