The home-ice advantage has been relatively non-existent for the Jackets this season. But not tonight.
The Blue Jackets squandered a 4-2 third period lead but recovered in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
While the Jackets seemed incredibly dominant for parts of the game, especially in their three-goal second period, they let their foot off the gas later just enough to let the Sabres have some breathing room and almost spoil the evening.
The Jackets are seeking consistently, and wins like this help, even if the game wasn't the prettiest. Let's break down the three standout storylines of the night:
The First Line Shines
Welcome to the first line, Pierre-Luc!
Dubois had struggled early this season, at least in getting on the scoresheet (four points through nine games), but seemed to find a rhythm tonight with three points to help propel a big Jackets scoring night.
After netting his third of the year late in the first, Dubois set up Panarin to tie the game at two, and then came the Cam Atkinson show. Atkinson scored off a rush with Riley Nash, (exactly who you'd expect!) and then ripped another just 31 seconds later to push the lead to two goals.
This, for the record (literally) was the fastest two goals scored apart from one another by the same player in Jackets history.
In conclusion, all five Jackets goals were from the first line. Not the best for depth, but this line needed a game like this. It's okay for tonight.
Korpi Holds His Own
Joonas Korpisalo has won all four games he has started for the Jackets this season. For someone who is currently boasting a .897 save percentage, that's a little surprising.
But we'll take it! Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves, a few highlight-reel ones included, to keep the Jackets from blowing their third period lead completely.
Now opens the floodgates for even more discussion - does Korpisalo keep getting the start? He certainly is not putting up elite numbers, but dare we say the team looks a different kind of inspired to play in front of him?
Panarin Does His Overtime Ritual
We expect it every time, but it still blows us away. Artemi Panarin is pure magic in closing out games.
His second overtime winner of the season came off of an absolute laser just a minute into the extra period for his second goal of the night. You have to think teams have contemplated sending two guys to cover him in the defensive zone and leave someone else wide open.
Panarin now has 15 points on the season and is absolutely rolling out of the gate, compared to a slow-ish start last year. If this is the last year the Jackets have 'Bread', they should be glad they're at least getting the most out of him.
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