Alexander Wennberg's Overtime Goal Keeps the Blue Jackets' Win Streak Going in Minnesota

By Jeff Svoboda on October 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm
Zach Werenski scored for the CBJ

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

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It's official: the Blue Jackets now have a winning streak. Facing a Minnesota Wild team celebrating its home opener but down five forwards from its lineup, Columbus (4-1-0) tied the score late and won in overtime by a 5-4 score at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

  1 2 3 OT F
BLUE JACKETS 1 1 2 1 5
WILD 1 2 1 0 4
IN A PARAGRAPH

It didn't look like the Blue Jackets' night for long stretches, but with a never-say-die spirit, a buzzing top line and an overtime winner from Alexander Wennberg, Columbus was able to come back to down the Wild. Josh Anderson also got on the board for the first time to tie the score with 3:37 left, allowing the team to overcome a bit of an off night by goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

NOTABLES
  • David Savard had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, with the helper coming on the tying goal in the third period. For his efforts, he earned the Kepi hat.
  • Seth Jones played a team-best 25:46 and earned an assist, was plus-2 and had five shots on goal.
  • The team's top line was impressive, with Wennberg and Cam Atkinson scoring and Artemi Panarin totaling three assists. The trio was a combined plus-8.
STAT ATTACK

Bobrovsky gave up multiple goals for the first time this season. ... Columbus held a 35-21 edge in shots, including 15-5 in the third period and overtime. ... Minnesota (1-1-2) won the faceoff battle 49-25. ... Columbus was 0-3 on the power play, finishing its fourth consecutive game without a man advantage goal. The team is 1 for 13 this year overall. ... Savard scored his first goal of the year, while Zach Werenski and Atkinson each tallied for the first time since the season opener. ... Columbus played its second overtime game of the season, improving to 2-0. ... Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter was minus-4.

WHAT HAPPENED

Bobrovsky stood tall early, turning aside a breakaway by Eric Staal in the opening few minutes after the veteran got behind Scott Harrington. But Staal couldn't be held down for long, opening the scoring 15:50 into the game when he worked a give-and-go with Chris Stewart entering the zone before roofing a shot over Bobrovsky on the short side.

Columbus got it back quickly, though, with the top line scoring 35 seconds later. Wennberg came out of the right corner with the puck and, with the entire Minnesota team on the right side of the ice, fed Werenski all alone in the left circle for an easy shot past Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Minnesota regained the lead, though, in the second with a pair of goals 2:09 apart apart. The first came on the power play at 2:58, as Tyler Ennis took a pass at the top of the right circle and crossed up Bobrovsky, firing to the far side past the goalie's blocker to make it 2-1.

Landon Ferraro doubled the lead on an odd goal after Minnesota intercepted a pass by David Savard in the neutral zone. He shot it rather innocently from the left halfboards, but the puck trickled through Bobrovsky's legs and sat behind him in the crease for what seemed like an eternity. No Blue Jackets seemingly realized it at first, though, and Ferraro crashed the net and poked it home.

Columbus got one back at 7:42 as Savard atoned for his turnover. Off a center ice draw, Oliver Bjorkstrand entered the zone and had a shot blocked, but it caromed right into Savard's path at the top of the right circle and he quickly wired a shot over Dubnyk's blocker to make it 3-2.

Just 1:44 into the third, the Blue Jackets' comeback road became that much tougher as Minnesota notched a power-play goal. With Harrington in the box for a high-sticking call, what was supposed to be a pass by Mikko Koivu deflected off the skate of Ennis and got behind the crossed-up Bobrovsky to give the Wild a 4-2 lead.

But for the second time on the night, the Jackets replied within a minute, cutting the deficit to 4-3 at 2:39. Jack Johnson took a howitzer of a slap shot from the center point, with Atkinson scooping up the rebound and chipping it by Dubnyk.

The teams each could have added goals as the third progressed. Panarin rang the post on the power play for the Jackets with 11:47 on the clock, and Jason Zucker hit the crossbar flush with 8:04 to go on a transition play on which the crowd celebrated as if he had scored.

Finally, with 3:37 left, Columbus got the equalizer to make it 4-4. Off an offensive zone draw, Savard walked the blue line and fired, with Anderson tipping the puck off the crossbar and in. Minnesota appealed that Anderson hit the puck with a high stick, but the tally stood after review.

The Blue Jackets needed just one shift to win it in overtime. On a rush, Panarin cut to the net and fired a shot off Dubnyk's blocker, but the puck bounced off Wennberg and into the net to give Columbus the victory 47 seconds into the extra frame.

INJURY REPORT

Gabriel Carlsson did not play because of an upper-body injury suffered the night before vs. the New York Rangers. Harrington was deputized into the lineup for the first time this season and was minus-1 in 11:07. 

NEXT UP

The Blue Jackets stay on the road, visiting Winnipeg on Tuesday night for a game at 8 p.m. in the last contest before a four-game homestand. 

 

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