Three Things: Short-Handed Columbus Blue Jackets Edged by Gritty Montreal Canadiens

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 19, 2019 at 10:23 pm
Josh Anderson of the Columbus Blue Jackets sees his shot saved by Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets dropped a disappointing one tonight, losing 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

Without two key players, the Blue Jackets struggled to create quality changes. Per Natural Stat Trick, Montreal created 13 high-danger chances opposed to just 6 produced by Columbus. Still, even with Artemi Panarin out due to illness and Ryan Murray out as well (upper-body), the Blue Jackets fought hard and almost notched a quality road win.

Carey Price was on fire tonight, and while Sergei Bobrovsky turned in quite a good game of his own, Price ultimately got the win tonight with some clutch saves in the third period.

Let's get right into tonight's three things.

Big Josh Anderson 

Josh Anderson made big plays all night and gave the Blue Jackets some life with a goal and an assist. His tenacity and effort are evident whenever he steps on the ice, and tonight was no exception.

His snipe in the second period made it a 2-1 game and gave Anderson his 21st goal of the campaign.

Anderson saw the option to pass to a streaking Nick Foligno, but decided to take it himself. His aggressive choice resulted in a great goal and momentum booster for the Blue Jackets. 

Early in the third period, Anderson also notched a primary assist on Foligno's game-tying goal. Finding himself with the puck on an odd-man rush, Anderson decided to shoot the puck again. Price saved Anderson's initial effort, but Foligno was able to sweep the puck home off of the rebound created for the captain's 15th goal of the season.

Special Teams: A Tale of Polar Opposites

The Blue Jackets' penalty kill was fantastic, as it has been for most of the season. Columbus weathered three Montreal power plays and held firm, killing two huge penalties in the third period keeping the Blue Jackets in the game. 

The power play, however, has been one of the league's worst, checking in at 27th in the NHL. Since the team hired Martin St. Louis as a special consultant, the group has improved, but they still have a ways to go to become a difference-maker when they face off against playoff-caliber teams. Tonight, the Blue Jackets power play went 0-2, missing opportunities to make an impact.

The Price is Right 

Carey Price turned in a vintage performance for the Canadiens all night, stifling just about every Blue Jackets attempt to get back in the game. He had several flashy saves, including a huge one on Zach Werenski late in the third period to keep the Canadiens up 3-2.

Price stopped 31 of 33 shots, good for a .939 save percentage. He continued his recent dominance of the Blue Jackets. In Price's last 7 games against Columbus, he has gone 7-0-0 with a 1.28 GAA and a .957 save percentage. The Blue Jackets will have to figure out a way to solve him (it's easier said than done) next time they see the Canadiens.

Follow 1st Ohio BatteryFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube