The Blue Jackets scored four unanswered goals to steal Game 1 of their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night. Here's a look at all four goals, showing you what went right for the Jackets and so wrong for the Bolts.
Nick Foligno, 9:15 2nd
The Blue Jackets were down, 3-0, midway through the second, when captain Nick Foligno put Columbus on the board, scoring on a breakaway. How did he get such a glorious chance?
Curling in the corner of the Blue Jackets zone, Tampa Bay defenseman Ryan McDonagh tried to pass to his linemate, Erik Cernak, but an active stick from Josh Anderson gets just enough on the pass to steer it away from Cernak.
Foligno was there to pounce and because McDonagh, the other defensemen, made the pass from the Blue Jackets' corner, there was no help on the break. Foligno scooted in alone and sniped to Andrei Vasilevskiy's blocker side (more on this in a moment).
David Savard, 7:58 3rd
Early in the third period, David Savard scored the most improbable goal of the night when he beat Norris Trophy winner Victor Hedman.
Hedman, who is typically as steady as she comes, makes two peewee mistakes in the same five-second clip. First, he spins and throws a blind pass off the boards in the neutral zone, which is intercepted by Savard. Trying to make up for his mistake, Hedman is too aggressive, and tries to step up on the defensive-minded Savard. Unfortunately for Hedman, Savard likes to drive to the net.
As Savard crosses the blue line, Hedman is convinced that the Blue Jacket is going to take the puck around the wall, trying to beat Hedman wide, as most players can't beat Hedman inside. But his hubris worked against him, leaving a terrible stick gap (0:43 in the video), allowing Savard to walk to the middle of the ice uncontested.
He snaps a perfect snapshot, high to Vasilevskiy's blocker side (sensing a theme here). This goal changed the complexion of the game.
Josh Anderson, 11:54 3rd
Shorthanded, Assist(s): jenner
David Savard turning Victor Hedman inside out was improbable, but four minutes later, Josh Anderson may have topped him with a shorthanded goal to tie the game.
Anderson, who could be the x-factor in this series, was sprung by a brilliant pass from Boone Jenner, though that isn't seen in either angle of the highlight. Jenner and Anderson were tasked with killing off this portion of a four-minute penalty to Brandon Dubinsky. Killing the penalty would have been sufficient, but Jenner, and more specifically Anderson, got greedy.
This goal is a coach's dream. At the 0:15 mark, Boone Jenner is in perfect position to intercept a blind Lightning pass to the slot. He makes a beautiful touch pass to Anderson to start a standard 2-on-2, with one Lightning player, No. 21 Brayden Point, backchecking.
Anderson recognizes that Point isn't going to catch him, and also recognizes (this is key) that Savard is going to cut hard to the net. When Savard drives the net, he forces the Lightning defenseman to stay with him, because otherwise he'd be unmarked in a dangerous position. That “defenseman” happens to be Steven Stamkos, the Lightning captain who is very much a forward and not a defenseman. Stamkos runs into Vasilevskiy (0:22), as Savard is able to sublimely avoid contact with the goalie.
All the while, Anderson performs perfect calculus, deciding to cut to the middle where the second defenseman (Stamkos) just vacated, forcing Hedman to defend east-west. Anderson is simply too fast, and while Vasilevskiy is rubbing into Stamkos, Anderson puts it in the net.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's three goals on three Tampa Bay turnovers in the neutral or offensive zones.
Seth Jones, 14:05 3rd
Assist(s): Panarin, Werenski
The Blue Jackets' fourth goal of the evening was the last one they'd need as Seth Jones got the winner on a well executed power play.
The first 30 seconds of this video show the Blue Jackets maintaining possession in the Tampa Bay Zone with a man advantage. Watch closely and you'll see Cam Atkinson and Matt Duchene come up with an underrated play to keep control, ultimately leading to the winner.
As No. 71 Anthony Cirelli tries to clear for the Lightning, Atkinson's stick causes Cirelli to delay gathering the puck. In that time, Duchene cuts off Cirelli's clearing attempt to keep the puck in the zone.
Jones gathers the loose puck to restart their power play set, playing it up top to Werenski, where he quickly moves it to Artemi Panarin, the team's primary option on the power play. The key in this play is Cirelli, who Werenski drew in before dishing over to Panarin. By waiting long enough, Cirelli is unable to join the play, which ultimately gives Columbus an effective 4-on-3 advantage.
At the 0:34 mark, Panarin realizes that Cirelli is not a threat to intercept a pass, and that Jones has entered prime real estate in the middle of the ice. Jones gathers the pass from Panarin and snipes on Vasilevskiy, beating him for the third time on his blocker side (and second time up high). It's a magnificent passing play that is simply textbook. And it gave the Blue Jackets' an improbable Game 1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.