Three Things: Blue Jackets Win In Overtime Thanks To Crucial Challenge

By Paul Berthelot on December 27, 2018 at 9:45 pm
Blue Jackets Markus Nutivaara hits New York Rangers Kevin Hayes into the boards as he tries to get by with the puck
Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

For a minute there, it looked like the Columbus Blue Jackets were done for. 

A two-on-one rush and quick snipe past Joonas Korpisalo made it 4-2 in favor of the New York Rangers. Thankfully for Columbus, coach John Tortorella challenged, and the play was ruled offside. One Zach Werenski goal later and it was a brand new game.

Overtime didn't last long, either, as Pierre-Luc Dubois ended the game just 31 seconds into the frame.   

Here are tonight's three things:

Bad Ice

New York is the city that never sleeps, and apparently the same can be said for the staff at Madison Square Garden, who had to put down a basketball court for the Harlem Globetrotters earlier today and then take it out for the hockey game.

Understandably, this led to poor ice quality, which explains some of the weird bounces that happened early on in the game. Obviously this isn't beneficial to either side, as both teams are skating on the same ice, but despite the four combined goals through two periods, there really wasn’t much offense created by either team. Towards the end of the second, the game started to open up more and in the third the Blue Jackets prevailed, taking the game.

Dashing Dane

The Danes have not been dashing at the World Juniors, in two games they have yet to light the lamp. One former Danish WJC hero, Oliver Bjorkstrand, fared far better than his countryman tonight. It hasn't been a banner year for Bjorkstrand, but he potted the Blue Jackets first goal of the night. Boone Jenner made a great pass to set it up, too, giving the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. 

Bjorkstrand wasn't done after that, either – he also notched an assist on David Savard's goal later in the first period.

New Life

As mentioned above, props to John Tortorella for successfully challenging Ryan Strome's would-be goal and preventing the Blue Jackets from falling into a two-goal hole late in teh game.

Props, too, to his players, who used that momentum to tie up the game (on Werenski's game-tying goal) and eventually win it in overtime. These hard-fought victories are character-builders for playoff teams, and will ensure that the team doesn't get too down in the dumps if they fall behind late in a game in April.

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