The Blue Jackets are cooking.
On the second half of a back-to-back, the Blue Jackets jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 at KeyBank Center. With the win, coupled with a Pittsburgh Penguins win over the Carolina Hurricanes, the Blue Jackets jumped Carolina and will wake up in the WC1 playoff spot.
The game began with the Sabres carrying play, but the Blue Jackets capitalized first. At the 7:14 mark of the first period, Pierre-Luc Dubois tapped in a brilliant Seth Jones pass for his 25th goal of the season.
Minutes later on a Blue Jackets power play, Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for the fifth straight game as he continues to stay white hot.
A sizzling slapper pic.twitter.com/s8rktXGLg8— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 31, 2019
At the 17:47 mark, Nick Foligno was rewarded for his hard work with a bit of puck luck on a brilliant effort on a wraparound to break the game wide open. When the horn mercifully sounded, the Sabres were booed off the ice.
It's... beautiful. pic.twitter.com/pJfXOU8nmf— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 31, 2019
In a mostly sleepy second period, Josh Anderson scored his 27th goal of the year on a 2-on-1 that beat Linus Ullmark through the five-hole, on a shot that, frankly, an NHL goalie would probably like to have back.
whip it pic.twitter.com/A705nZOJ17— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 31, 2019
The third period bordered on chippy, though cooler heads prevailed. John Tortorella used the big lead to roll his four lines as his tired team played its sixth period in the past day.
Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped all 38 shots he faced, earned his NHL-best ninth shutout of the season, adding to his career-high.
that's using your head pic.twitter.com/gOVokk0blD— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 31, 2019
For the second consecutive night, a "C-B-J" chant broke out in a road game, while the game ended with the Sabres faithful booing their team off the ice one last time. In their five-game winning streak, the Blue Jackets have outscored their opponents by a combined 24-4 score.
Dubois, who had 1-1-2 in his past 15 games, exploded for 1-2-3 in the win... Ryan Dzingel added a pair of assists, giving him 30 on the season... The Blue Jackets now have six players with 25-plus goals (Atkinson, Duchene, Panarni, Anderson, Dzingel, Dubois).... Bjorkstrand now has goals six goals in his past five games... The top line of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Cam Atkinson was held off the scoresheet.
Ryan Murray remains out of the lineup with an upper body injury.
The Blue Jackets head home to Nationwide Arena to host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in their regular season home finale.
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