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The Jackets Win Again and Edge The Bolts to Brink of Elimination
By: Jake Ricker
The Blue Jackets got off to a fast start picking up some early chances. The Jackets lead in shots 5-0 after the first five minutes but Vasy kept them out and the game tied at 0. It just seemed like the Jackets where all over the Bolts as they controlled the pace of the game. The Bolts would then have to go to the penalty kill as Killorn was called for goaltender interference. The Bolts would successfully kill it off though and get back to full strength. The Jackets quickly responded with another chance in front but Vasy slammed the door shut. The intensity quickly rose as both teams threw some hits and the crowd got louder. The Bolts then finally started to pick up a few chances but Bobrovsky was all over it and kept this game tied at 0. Things then started to get chippy with all players getting into things near the benchers starting with Erne and Dzingel. Callahan and Dzingel would both get 2 for roughing so we would head to 4 on 4 hockey. Neither team took advantage of the 4 on 4 but as the penalties expired Cirelli got a huge chance but rung the shot off the post. Tensions continued to rise with both teams taking objection in any close play. the Jackets then picked up a few more shots on net, but the horn would soon sound ending the period.
Shots: 12-3 Columbus
The Bolts got off to a much better start quickly picking up a nice chance in front of the net. The Jackets responded though as Duchene got a huge rebound and put the puck into a wide open net for a 1-0 lead. Both teams continued to go back and forth but it just seemed like the Jackets had the extra energy as they outshot the Bolts 15 to 7. The Bolts would then get a penalty for interference as Callahan ran into a Columbus player sending them to the penalty kill. The jackets then capitalized on the power play as Bjorkstad ripped one from the point for a 2-0 lead. The jackets continued to dominate the Lighting and it felt like the game was already over. Vasy continued to make a few saves but it was the jackets who won puck battles, played faster, and harder. As the period went on the Jackets were outshooting the Bolts 22-12. The Bolts were quickly running out of time. The Bolts then finally picked up a few scoring chances but they could not put any of them in the back of the net. The period then came to an end, and the Bolts would have a lot of work to do in the third if they wanted any kind of shot.
Goals: 2-0 Columbus
Shots: 22-13 Columbus
The Bolts came out in the third with what looked like the most energy all game. Killorn put one off the post and they picked up a few other chances but none of them went in. The Bolts kept pushing and they would finally break through as Palat tipped one home to cut the deficit to 1. The Lighting then picked up another really close chance but just couldn’t put it in. One thing was for sure, something happened in the locker room and the Bolts were knocking on the door. The Jackets started to climb back a little as they got some chances of their own but could not get anything on goal. But the Bolts quickly responded with some more chances of their own. Tampa continued to show that the team was not completely gone and can play hockey. But time was running out, and the Bolts still needed one more goal at the halfway mark. Then it was Dzingel who broke out on a short break away, but Vasy made the big save. The Jackets were able to slow things down a little by getting some big chances at the other end, but it was Vasy with even bigger saves. With time ticking down the Bolts played the fastest they ever have as Johnson flew through the zone and threw it on the net but was denied by Bobrovsky. The Bolts then pulled Vasy for one last chance, but it would be too little as Panarin put it into the empty net to make it 3-1. The Bolts would pull Vasy once again looking for a chance. Then after a late hit, more like a bump, the Bolts took objection and things got chippy again. It would be too little too late as the Bolts fell to the Jackets
Goals: 3-1 Columbus
Shots: 31-30 Tampa Bay
- Cam Atkinson (1G, 1A)
- Matt Duchene (1G)
- Sergei Bobrovsky (30 SV, 1GA)
What can I say? The Bolts showed up in the third but the not the first or the second. Hockey is a 60-minute game. The Bolts are beating themselves, and it’s frustrating and upsetting. They have one game left to show up, that’s it.
The Bolts will look to avoid the sweep as they take on the Blue Jackets in Game 4 Tuesday, March 16th, at 7:00 PM.