POST GAME: Blue Jackets 4, Blues 1

Eleven different Jackets record a point as Columbus gets a big win to keep pace in the West

Friday, 04.12.2013 / 9:30 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com


BLUE JACKETS (18-16-7) 4, BLUES (23-15-2)

NATIONWIDE ARENA | COLUMBUS, OH




Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards walked into locker room after the first period and told his team that this was "a man's game" tonight - and as one could expect in mid-April with postseason aspirations hanging on the line, it was a confrontational-yet-capitvating display of hockey at its highest emotional level.

There was no dancing around it, either: this was a must-win game for the Blue Jackets as their total games played accumulate and other teams in the hunt continue to do them no favors. One week after suffering a disappointing loss to the same Blues at Scottrade Center, it was the Blue Jackets who not-so-kindly returned the favor.

And though the Blues got on the scoreboard first with a fluky goal from Kevin Shattenkirk just 86 seconds into the game, the Blue Jackets absorbed it, brushed it off and got back on the horse. Once they settled into their game, they found a rhythm and kept bringing it right to the Blues, who looked to reach their energy peak very early in the game. The Blue Jackets sensed it and took full advantage - finishing their checks, supporting the puck and making it an exasperating task for St. Louis to get the puck back.

Perhaps the most important thing was going into the first intermission on even terms, and a nifty re-direct from Cam Atkinson made sure that would be the case at 14:32 of the opening period. The goal withstood a review by the NHL's "War Room" in Toronto, which brought even more life to a rocking atmosphere inside Nationwide Arena.

Artem Anisimov and Ryan Johansen scored goals less than five minutes apart in the second period to really deflate the Blues, who were running on fumes and unable to match the high pace of the Blue Jackets. And when the snarl kicked up a notch in the third period, Richards said he was most fond of his team rallying around each other and not getting pushed around by a frustrated St. Louis club.

Oh, and the by the way, Marian Gaborik scored again. His third goal in a Blue Jackets sweater was the final tally of the night and it was a beauty: Vinny Prospal hit Mark Letestu in stride through the neutral zone, and a 2-on-1 with capped off by a slick Gaborik deflection into the top shelf at 1:21 of the third period.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves to pick up his 15th victory of the season.




Tonight's turning point came with the back-to-back goals from Anisimov and Johansen in the second period, and it was clearly the defining stretch of the game. The Blues were hanging around in a 1-1 game despite some uncharacteristic sloppiness with the puck, but it did not last long. Two quick strikes put the game away for Columbus and turned the Blues' swagger into saltiness.




- Columbus was 5-for-5 in man down situations on Friday. The Blue Jackets have now killed off 29 of their last 32 penalties (90.6%) at Nationwide Arena and rank seventh in the NHL with a home ice PK pct. of 87.7.

- The Blue Jackets were 25-for-48 in the face-off circle vs. the Blues and have now won 256 of their last 466 draws (54.9%). Columbus is tied for sixth place in the NHL with an overall winning pct. of 51.5 this season.

- Bobrovsky is now 11-3-5 with a 1.68 GAA and a .944 SV% at Nationwide Arena in 2012-13.

-
Johansen made his 100th career NHL appearance on Friday and scored a goal for the second consecutive game. Johansen was also 6-for-9 in the face-off circle vs. St. Louis.

- Gaborik netted a third period goal on Friday and has now tallied 3-3-6 in five games as a Blue Jacket.










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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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