Patience is a virtue, but it may also be the Columbus Blue Jackets’ key to success this season.
The concept was the blueprint for the Blue Jackets as they looked to get their first win of the early season against the so-far undefeated Buffalo Sabres, and the strategy yielded success. The Blue Jackets obtained their first two points of the season through simplified, deliberate effort and capitalized offensive opportunities.
Alexandre Texier scored the overtime winner in a game where Columbus never trailed.
Oliver Bjorkstrand gave the Blue Jackets their first lead of the year 18 minutes into the first period. Bjorkstrand, lurking back-side in the offensive zone, backhanded a Seth Jones rebound off Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark and into the net.
It only took another minute and a power play opportunity for Cam Atkinson to increase that lead to 2-0. Atkinson gathered an excellent behind-the-net pass from Alexander Wennberg and blasted the puck past Ullmark from the right circle. The goal was his second of the year, both with the man advantage.
Though they found themselves in a quick two-goal deficit, the Sabres evened the score, 2-2, in the second period with a power play goal from Marcus Johansson and a pick-pocket, breakaway goal from Jeff Skinner.
After a dominant beginning to the third period for the Jackets, captain Nick Foligno knocked home the 3-2 goal during a power play scramble in front of Ullmark after an extended spurt of continued pressure in the Sabres zone.
However, after going shorthanded with two minutes remaining, the Blue Jackets conceded the 3-3, six-on-four goal, sending the game to overtime.
In the 3-on-3 period, an aggressive forecheck and timely pass from Foligno set up Texier's goal. Foligno pursued Jack Eichel below the goal line and won a puck battle, then found a wide-open Texier in the slot for the winner.
None to report from this game. Josh Anderson is day-to-day with an upper body injury, as noted prior to tonight's game.
The Blue Jackets are back at Nationwide Arena on Friday night when they host the Anaheim Ducks. Game time is 7 p.m.