A Big Lift
The Blue Jackets’ 4-3 shootout win over Minnesota was the perfect tonic in a sour stretch
Midway through the third period of Monday's tilt between the Blue Jackets and Wild at Nationwide Arena, the game hung in the balance.
Minnesota was white-knuckling its 2-1 lead thanks to a Mikko Koivu goal with 1.5 seconds left in the second period. Columbus was riding momentum from multiple penalty kills and came to life in the final frame.
Then, Anton Stralman sealed the wall and the puck found its way to Fedor Tyutin low in the left circle. He blasted a slapper over Wild goalie Jose Theodore’s left shoulder to tie the game with 13:06 remaining.
The Blue Jackets were back in business, and they fed off that goal. Their strong third-period effort paid off in a 4-3 shootout win over the Wild.
"I think everyone needed this one," said center Kyle Wilson, who also scored the deiciding goal in the shootout.
"We were down one going into the third period and to be able to come back, the good teams are the ones that are able to do that. It shows that we are ready to make a push here."
Under a minute later, Andrew Murray tucked a surprise wrap-around behind Theodore and gave Columbus its first lead of the game.
The Blue Jackets built the game piece by piece, and made sure that each minute passing was another step forward.
Steve Mason made four big stops on the most dangerous player in the game—Koivu—three in overtime and once in the shootout.
Of his 37 saves, those were the highlight for the goalie that head coach Scott Arniel hopes gains confidence from the win.
"We've had a tough time (of late), but we found a way to scramble back," Arniel said. "At the end of the day, we got the two points and that's what we needed.
"(Mason) gave us a chance to win. He got himself a win in a really crazy game. Hopefully, confidence-wise, this a good jolt for him."
Most encouraging for Columbus was its character-building third period, and taking control of the game when the outcome was unsettled.
"For myself it's a big win, but for the team, it's an even bigger win," Mason said. "We really needed this one and our guys really came through tonight."