Blue Jackets Take Game One in Washington

Jackets steal Game One from Washington

Panarin nets the game-winner. Photo by Chicago Tribune.

The Columbus Blue Jackets went into our nation’s capital last night and came away with (potentially) the biggest win in franchise history. It wasn’t pretty at all times for the Jackets, especially in the first period with a lot of penalties. At the 17:23 mark of the first period, Josh Anderson was called for a 5 minute major penalty, resulting in 2 goals for the Capitals.

The Blue Jackets entered the second period trailing by 2 goals and still having to kill off about 2:30 of the Capitals power play. The Jackets killed off the power play, settled down, and Alexander Wennberg scored to bring them within one goal off of a beautiful pass from Boone Jenner.

The Jackets fought like hell in the second period, and made a lot of gritty plays along the way. Captain Nick Foligno, who took a slap shot to the face in this game, batted a puck out of the air that had gotten behind Sergei Bobrovsky to save a goal.

The Blue Jackets trailed 2-1 entering the third and final period. Just 1:31 into the third, Thomas Vanek got down and dirty in the box and put the puck in the net off of a pass from Pierre-Luc Dubois. Vanek’s goal was a power play goal, as Tom Wilson of the Capitals was called for charging just 13 seconds before the goal.

The Jackets had battled the Capitals and some questionable officiating early on but fought back to tie the game. That positive feeling didn’t last long however, as Devante Smith-Pelly scored for the Capitals less than four minutes later. The Capitals had a lot of momentum and Capital One Arena was rocking.

That is, until Andre Burakovsky was sent to the penalty box at the 14:55 mark for tripping. The tripping call gave the Jackets another chance on the power play, and they wouldn’t let this chance slip by. A little over 30 seconds into the power play, Artemi Panarin got the puck from Cam Atkinson, many (including myself) expected Panarin to shoot, but he found Seth Jones on the backside with a great look at the net.

The game-tying goal quieted the sell-out crowd, and we were heading to overtime. Six minutes into the overtime period, Ian Cole made a great play in his own zone, diving for the puck and sending it out to Artemi Panarin. Panarin did what he does best, and skated up the ice, found some room on the left side, and fired past Philipp Grubauer for the win.

The goal gave the Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory, and its first series lead in the playoffs in franchise history. Artemi Panarin was the first star of the game, thanks to his game-winner and 2 assists. Pierre-Luc Dubois also had two assists, while four different Jackets scored goals. Enjoy the highlights from the major victory.

The Blue Jackets will remain in Washington until Game 2 on Sunday. That puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30pm. Games 3 and 4 will be played in Columbus next Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, both also scheduled to begin at 7:30pm.