The good news: the Blue Jackets ended a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 shootout win over the depleted New Jersey Devils.
The bad news: that was ugly.
Coming out of a disastrous weekend in which the Blue Jackets went 0-2-0 on home ice, the word coming from within the locker room was this team needed to get away from Nationwide Arena. Playing against a team that iced as many AHL players as NHL regulars, the Blue Jackets were able to muster a point.
The first period saw the Blue Jackets strike just 52 seconds into the game, giving them the rare early lead. Cam Atkinson scored his 36th goal of the season on a rebound after David Savard's one-timer missed the net wide.
After that, the Blue Jackets were unable to create much of anything offensively. The second period was equal parts frustrating and bland, and the Devils were able to tie the game late in the second frame on Travis Zajac's 15th goal of the season after a blown defensive zone coverage.
The third period had little action of note, as the Blue Jackets finished regulation with just 16 shots on goal.
After a scoreless overtime, the game headed to a shootout, where Atkinson beat Schneider to the short side with a beautiful backhand. After Sergei Bobrovsky made a pair of saves, Artemi Panarin won the game with a shot that just snuck through the five hole.
Cam Atkinson on his shootout goal for the #CBJ: I was skating by their bench and the whole bench was saying, Hes going to his forehand. I wanted to turn around and say, Im not going to my forehand.
— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) March 6, 2019
Bobrovsky was excellent throughout, making several key saves that kept the Blue Jackets from ever trailing. Outside of his play (and Atkinson's goal scoring abilities), there isn't much else worth complimenting.
Atkinson's 36th goal sets a new career high... Nine of the 12 forwards in the Devils lineup had four or fewer career goals.... Keith Kinkaid was rostered for his first game as a new member of the Blue Jackets, and was honored with a video in his return to New Jersey... The Blue Jackets had four shots in the first period and five in the second and finished with a season-low 18 shots, despite the overtime period... The shootout was just the Blue Jackets second of the season, they move to 1-1...
Ryan Murray continues to sit out with an injury for an eighth consecutive game.
The Blue Jackets continue their road trip in Pittsburgh where they'll take on the Penguins on Thursday night at 7:00 pm at PPG Paints Arena.
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