The Columbus Blue Jackets, despite nearly doubling the Anaheim Ducks in shots on goal, lost in overtime by a 2-1 score.
A week removed from a disastrous 4-0 home loss to the Washington Capitals, the effort was unquestionably better, and the Blue Jackets may have deserved a better fate. In a homecoming game for Columbus' own Kiefer Sherwood, the Ducks got two goals from newcomer Daniel Sprong in the overtime win.
Here are tonight’s three things:
Goalie Duel: Advantage Gibson
There haven't been many genuine goaltender duels in the 2018 season, and this low scoring game probably qualified as such. John Gibson was simply outstanding for the Ducks, as he stopped 36 of 37 shots for a .973 SV%, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 20 of 22 for a .909 SV%. Bobrovsky stopped a breakaway and had plenty of solid saves, and it's impossible to pin this loss on him.
I call this The John Gibson pic.twitter.com/u6VOLcOYZa— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) December 16, 2018
On the other hand, Gibson was far better than solid, as the Blue Jackets owned 80% of the high-danger scoring chances (all situations, stats courtesy of naturalstattrick).
Big Josh Anderson was extremely noticeable, especially when the game reached the later stages and the bench was shortened. John Tortorella clearly loves playing his power forward winger, and it's easy to understand why. His energy is palpable and he's on the short list of players on the Blue Jackets who can make a difference on the forecheck.
HE CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL pic.twitter.com/ADndIHgp5I— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 16, 2018
Anderson played 17:50 and tied for the team-high in shots on goal with five in the game. He also posted an absurd 68.97% CF%, meaning the Blue Jackets generated over two-thirds of shot attempts for while he was on the ice.
Win A Draw?
Faceoffs are more complicated than many care to admit, and the responsibility for winning (or losing) hardly rests solely on the center. However, the Ducks won 66% of the draws in the game, and if you think they aren't that important, consider that Dubois' loss in overtime led directly to Daniel Sprong's second goal of the game. Should Dubois win that faceoff, or at least draw, the Blue Jackets are fighting for possession, and perhaps Sprong doesn't have such a clean look.
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