What a night.
Led by Zach Werenski's hat trick, the Blue Jackets got a big win over the Florida Panthers and old friend Sergei Bobrovsky on New Year's Eve at Nationwide Arena. Their point streak has hit 11 in a row.
Elvis Merzlikins saved 35 of 36 shots for his first NHL win, turning in a stellar performance.
Here are three things from tonight's victory.
Way to Recover
Alexander Wennberg had quite the sequence in the second period. It began when he took a hard shove from Josh Brown, who was called for interference. As Wennberg fell to the ground, Vladislav Gavrikov ripped a shot on net that found Wennberg's face. With a bloody face and injured arm, Wennberg headed to the locker room.
He would return. And in a big way, indeed. With the Blue Jackets on the power play late in the second period, Wennberg made a fantastic pass cross-ice to Gustav Nyquist, who in turn found Boone Jenner for the go-ahead goal.
A power play goal for the lead! pic.twitter.com/ZZmAl2wtGe— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 1, 2020
Impressive resolve showed by the Swede.
Z Notches 3
Werenski scored three goals tonight for the third hat trick by a Blue Jackets defenseman in franchise history. The last was Bryan Berard with three goals on 1/8/06 at PHX, with Deron Quint accomplishing the feat on 3/9/01 at FLA.
What a night it was for Werenski, who scored three separate snipes past Bobrovsky for his first NHL hat trick. It's a night Werenski and Blue Jackets fans will remember for a long, long time.
You Always Remember Your First
Merzlikins finally got his long-awaited first NHL win tonight. With Korpisalo out, there will be a lot of pressure on Merzlikins to lead the Blue Jackets to more success. He certainly showed that he's capable of that tonight, proving wrong some doubters in the process:
Prediction: Elvis goes 0-5-1 and still blames the media. https://t.co/uwfdl8fovE— Grog Grag Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 30, 2019
You absolutely love to see it.