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The Bolts Sit on the Lead and Blue Jackets Take Advantage
By Jake Ricker
The Bolts got off to a fantastic start quickly putting pressure on the Jackets. Things quickly got physical with the Bolts laying on the hits. Unfortunately, one hit by Dan Girardi was called for an illegal check to the head (it was not), and the Bolts would head to the penalty kill. The Bolts penalty kill got off to a fantastic start as Alex Killorn stole the puck at the point and was off to the races. Killorn made a nice move and put the puck into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. The Bolts continued to dominate zone time and put the puck on net. As the Bolts continued the pressure, they looked to grab another goal before the halfway of the period. And they would do just that as Anthony Cirelli stole the puck in front of the net and stuffed it home to make it a 2-0 lead. The Bolts kept their foot on the gas pedal and never looked back. Just a few minutes later Sergachev blasted one from the point where Yanni Gourde deflected it home to make it 3-0 Bolts. Columbus would pick up a few chances, but Vasy shut them all down keeping the Bolts up by 3. David Savard would then pick up an interference call giving the Bolts a late power play. The Bolts got off a few shots but the horn would soon sound with 1:33 left on the power play.
Goals: 3-0 Tampa
Shots: 13-6 Tampa
The Bolts started things off on the power play, but Columbus would quickly kill it off and get back to full strength. The Jackets definitely made some adjustments as they picked up a few shots of their own early in the second period. The Bolts would respond with a few close chances of their own, but Bobrovsky settled in and locked down the crease. Both teams continued to go back and forth and it seemed as if the game had slowed down a little. The Blue Jackets then finally broke through as Nick Foligno put one in the back of the net to make it a 3-1 hockey game. The game slowed down with both teams now picking up a few chances. Bobrovsky continued to make some stellar saves despite the Bolts picking up some great chances. The period quickly went by with both teams playing a disciplined game. The period would then come to a close with the jackets knocking on the door.
Goals: 3-1 Tampa Bay
Shots: 24-17 Tampa Bay
Things continued to fall apart for the Bolts as the Jackets dominated zone time. The Jackets continued to push looking for the next goal in their chance at a comeback. The Jackets finally converted as David Savard made a nice move to pull within one. The Jackets would then put their comeback on hold as Dubinsky was called for a double minor for high-sticking. The Bolts got to work on the power play, but the Jackets did a good job of killing it off. The Jackets then took a page out of the Bolts book and took the puck down the ice where Josh Anderson fired one by Vasy to tie this game. Bobrovsky made some big saves as well, and the Bolts would fail to convert on the extended power play. Killorn was then called for a high stick, and the Bolts would have to head to the penalty kill. It was Seth Jones who blasted the puck home to take the lead in a stunning comeback. The Jackets proceeded to shut down the Bolts keeping control of the puck for the rest of the period. The Bolts would pull Vasy for one last shot, but it would be too little too late as the period came to a close.
Goals: 4-3 Columbus
Shots: 42-26 Tampa Bay
- Josh Anderson (1G, 1A)
- David Savard (1G)
- Sergei Bobrovsky (26 SV, 3GA)
This was absolutely not the way the Bolts wanted to get things going. The Bolts played a fantastic first period. And this is why there should not be too much concern. The Bolts played their game and dominated early. As for the second and third, they made too many mistakes and let the Jackets capitalize on them. This is nothing new as the Bolts have struggled after taking a few days off, but I have full confidence that they will come right back. The Bolts have always come back in the second game, great teams don’t always play perfect (all though it would make things a lot less stressful), but they make adjustments. The Bolts will look to play more of how they did in the first of this game. Fear, not Bolts Nation its only game one!
The Bolts are down 1-0 in the series and will look to even things out against the Blue Jackets Friday, March 12th, at 7:00 PM.